New HyperDuo-Powered SATA Controller from Marvell Super Charges Your Storage Scheme

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News Posted: Sun, Jan 8 2012 5:02 PM
Marvell is doing some magnificent things in the storage space lately. Hot on the heels of co-developing the "Kilimanjaro" native PCIe to NAND flash controller platform with OCZ (demonstrated via OCZ's new Z-Drive R5, which we covered the announcement here), Marvell on Monday unveiled its 88SE9230 6Gbps SATA controller powered by HyperDuo embedded processor technology.

This new controller replaces Marvell's previous one and offers twice the performance, capacity, and scalability as before. What's neat about this controller is that it supports up to four ports for SSD and HDD connectivity, and if you hook up both kinds of drives, it will intelligently manage your data so that you receive up to 80 percent of the performance of your SSD while leveraging 100 percent of your HDD. Sound familiar? It's essentially a hybrid storage solution, but at the chipset level and with a few tricks up its sleeve, like on-the-fly 128/256-bit AES encryption and RAID support.


"Configured with one hard drive and multiple SSDs, HyperDuo uses intelligent algorithms to automatically migrate hot data to the SSD while enabling all data to be safely stored on a larger capacity SATA SSD for higher input/output operations per second (IOPS), throughput, and capacity, Marvell explains. "The Marvell 88SE9235 can be used for embedded platform applications such as home NAS/media servers, DVR/NVR, and set-top boxes, or by HBA vendors to develop their own RAID software or in-box OS drivers."

It will also appear on motherboards by ASRock, Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI.
Marvell Announces World’s First Native PCIe SSD Controller for Modular Scalability
The Marvell 88NV9145 delivers high-performance flash controller technology as a building block for incrementally scalable native PCIe SSDs

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – January 6, 2012 – Marvell (Nasdaq: MRVL), a worldwide leader in integrated silicon solutions, today announced the Marvell® 88NV9145, the world’s first modularly scalable native PCIe SSD controller available in mass production. The 88NV9145 controller provides a core building block designed to create native PCIe SSDs in flexible configurations that incrementally scale in cost, capacity and performance.

By combining a low-latency, non-blocking PCIe switch with two or more 88NV9145 components, customers can create flexible native PCIe SSD configurations for different market segments. Each Marvell 88NV9145 controller supports a PCIe 2.0 x1 interface, ARM-based processor, external Double Data Rate (DDR) interface and four NAND flash channels with up to four Chip Selects (CSs) per channel. In addition, each 88NV9145 can support up to 128GB NAND capacity and has been tested to achieve up to 93,000 4K random read IOPS and 70,000 4K random write IOPS.

“Marvell is raising the bar in data storage by bringing to market the first incrementally scalable, native PCIe-to-NAND technology at a critical time when rapid data growth in public and private clouds is chronically reducing the performance of enterprise applications,” said Alan Armstrong, vice president of Marketing for the Storage Business Group at Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. “The 88NV9145 silicon eliminates unnecessary SAS or SATA conversion, effectively delivering the ultimate level of I/O performance.”

“OCZ is excited to work with Marvell on the native PCIe to NAND flash Kilimanjaro platform leveraging 88NV9145 building blocks,” said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology. “We will utilize this new jointly developed platform on our cutting edge Z-Drive R5 PCIe SSD solution to enable breakthrough I/O performance for the complete spectrum of enterprise-class applications such as OLTP database, webservers, virtualization, big-data and collaboration.”

“Leveraging PLX’s PCIe switch performance and features, Marvell has created one of the most powerful and flexible storage solutions to ever come to market,” said David Raun, vice president of Marketing and Business Development at PLX Technology. “By enabling customers to build native PCIe SSDs without any SAS/SATA protocol overhead, the 88NV9145 with PLX ExpressLane switches represent the future of SSD market growth.”

“This fully native PCIe-to-NAND controller should be significant for both enterprise and cloud storage markets for some time” said Mark Peters, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. “Especially for scalability, the mass production of the Marvell 88NV9145 means systems vendors will have a cost-effective way to deliver popular high-performance PCIe SSDs in an easy and flexible fashion. Based on the initial specifications, the product is parlaying Marvell’s successful storage heritage to catalyze another key technology step.”

About Marvell
Marvell (NASDAQ: MRVL) is a world leader in the development of storage, communications and consumer silicon solutions. Marvell's diverse product portfolio includes switching, transceiver, communications controller, wireless and storage solutions that power the entire communications infrastructure, including enterprise, metro, home and storage networking. As used in this release, the term “Marvell” refers to Marvell Technology Group Ltd. and its subsidiaries. For more information, visit Marvell.com.
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rapid1 replied on Mon, Jan 9 2012 12:17 PM

This is most definitely something we needed to see. When you can truly leverage the size of an HDD with a SSD which it looks like this really enables to a greater extent than any previous attempts it is the best of both worlds technically speaking. When it is on this level and therefore more of a general MB attribute it is even better as it is much more easily distributed on a market wide scale!

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Give it a couple more years and this will be dead technology. SSD prices are dropping and their capacities are rising. Plus, Intel's new Rapid Storage Technology drivers to be released in Q2 of '12 will enable trim support for raid 0...this means primary storage drives(raids) will be faster AND big. Certainly you could use conventional platter disks for backup but...when would you ever need to put your backups AND OS on the same controller?

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AKwyn replied on Tue, Jan 10 2012 8:24 AM

Pretty interesting. I like that it has potential to increase the reliability of a larger SSD while still keeping the speed benefits of the smaller SSD; there should definitely be solutions like these. Especially when SSD manufacturers head towards TLC to make their SSDs even cheaper then before.

 

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realneil replied on Tue, Jan 10 2012 12:55 PM

@DMC:

This is a lot like Intel's RST technology but it's built into the chipset. Same thing, only different.

I personally look forward to the new Intel drivers for my ASRock Z68's onboard RST.

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