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  • codedivine - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    I wonder who comes up with these model numbers. Why couldn't they simply name it as Marvell Controller v3 or something? Reply
  • tilandal - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    Since they are not selling to end users they don't care about having a memorable name. The number is probably generated based on a code that tells some specifics about the chip such as chip family, date of design, revision, process, voltage, package, etc. Its very useful when dealing with a large catalog of parts. Reply
  • 130773 - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    At least its easy to google :) Reply
  • Peanutsrevenge - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    People like this should be banned from Anandtech!
    Infact, just take their internet away, they're just wasting precious bandwidth!

  • Einy0 - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    Marvell makes so many products a name as simple as Marvell Controller v3 would be confusing. Marvell Controller v3 for what?... Ethernet?, SATA Host?, RAID ?, Insert_Device_Name?

    88 Seems to be their moniker for silicon devices. SS for storage then model number....
  • Kristian Vättö - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    SS stands for SSD processor with SATA interface - Marvell also has a PCIe SSD processor 88NV9145 (I know I'm nitpicking ;-)).

    Oftentimes just the number part (i.e. 9187) is used, though (e.g. in a review).
  • blanarahul - Sunday, August 25, 2013 - link

    Marvel also has another PCIe controller: 88"SS"9183 which is PCIe controller. Judging from the names of these controllers, I am willing to bet that Marvell's second PCIe controller i.e. 9183 was released before the 9187, which means that we should have been seeing these before 2013. But we are only seeing them now.

    The first Marvell PCIe Controller was: 88NV9145. But you already know that.
  • lyeoh - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    1) People who actually build the stuff.
    2) No. Because it's a model number not a product or marketing name. Product names are by those trying to sell the stuff.

    The two different names are to satisfy different needs and requirements.

    Perhaps you can complain to Apple about the S5L8945X?
  • Metaluna - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    This is the first time I've heard of a 3.1 revision to the SATA spec, so I Google'd it. It looks like the most interesting new feature is the addition of "TRIM queuing", which I gather allows the SSD to defer processing of the TRIM request to improve performance. Anyone know if this chip supports it? Reply
  • B3an - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    I hadn't heard of SATA 3.1 either until now.

    Do any motherboards support it? Can it be supported on 3.0 boards, even partially, with a BIOS/UEFI update?
  • solipsism - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    It's been finalized for about 8 months now. I'm surprised to here of products adopting it so quickly.
  • Metaluna - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    That's the thing about usually don't have to support every single feature the spec allows in order to claim you are compliant, so just saying "Supports SATA 3.1" doesn't really tell us much. In fact, technically even a device running at 1.5Gbps would probably be compliant with SATA 3.1, since the spec encompasses all the legacy modes as well as the new functionality, just as a USB device can legally claim to be USB 2.0 compliant but only support 11Mbps transfer rates. Reply
  • iwod - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    SATA Revision 3.1 includes several enhancements that help implementers take full advantage of SATA’s 6 Gb/s data rate. These enhancements range from new power management requirements to improvements that help maximize device efficiency. Key features include:

    mSATA – SATA for mobile computing devices, now with enhanced auto detection to provide increased interoperability by eliminating the need for a dedicated mSATA connector
    Zero-Power Optical Disk Drive (ODD) – eliminates the power consumption of an idle SATA ODD, resulting in increased energy savings
    Required Link Power Management – drives energy efficient power management across all SATA devices, reducing overall system power demand
    Queued Trim Command – allows SATA SSDs to execute Trim without impacting normal operation, improving SSD performance
    Hardware Control Features – enable host identification of device capabilities, allowing hosts to make more effective use of SATA devices

    And USM, Unified Storage Module - But the post did't explain what exactly is it.
  • zcat - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    I remember when it wasn't so long ago that SSDs were running into SATA2's 3Gbps (300MB/s) bandwidth limit, and now they're already saturating SATA3's ceiling?

    How long before until SATA4 or its replacement (not PCI-E storage) shows up? I'll be in the market to upgrade my old sata2 miniitx motherboard + OCZ Vertex 1 in a few months and I'd rather not settle for rate-limited SSDs going forward.
  • krazyderek - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    i'd say they still have their hands full working out all the bugs in the current round. Random performance still doesn't saturate the pipe, latency (avg and particularly max) can still be improved on many SSD's, and incompressible write speeds are still sub SATA II on drives like the vertex 3.

    Until every benchmark you can throw at an SSD flat lines, and reliability is unquestionable, there's no need to rush off to a new standard just cause one or two tests are approaching the SATA III limits.
  • iwod - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    I dont think there would be SATA 4 anytime soon. SATA 3 speed is more then enough even for some of the fastest consumer Hard Drive. And without any RPM improvement in the foreseeable future, simple increasing Platter density we have plenty of headroom for SATA 3 in the next five years.

    There is an SATA -Express. Which is more like SATA designed for SSD.

    Quote from the article.

    The next interface is SATA Express. This one is designed to keep SATA relevant while allowing for the growth of high performance SSDs. It took SandForce all of one year to release a controller that could saturate a 6Gbps SATA interface. Many companies have turned to PCI Express as a solution to offer more bandwidth than a single SAS/SATA port can deliver. SATA Express is designed to fix this issue.

    The spec won't be complete until the end of the year, but it will allow for two new SATA speeds: 8Gbps and 16Gbps as well as backwards compatibility with existing SATA devices. SATA Express will leverage PCIe 3.0 for higher operating speeds, perhaps indicating that it'll layer on top of PCIe rather than remain as an independent interface. If the spec is completed at the end of this year, don't expect to see controller support until mid to late next year at the earliest. It'll take a while for SSDs to natively support the standard as well.

    Then we should have ( or we are already nearing it ) reach the point where software needs take advantage before we see any more improvement from SSD.
  • zcat - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    Interesting - thanks. Looks likes "SATA Express" aims to deliver the speed of PCIe without the compatibility issues of PCIe-based storage. Don't know if I can (or need to) wait until 2013 for the new motherboards, though. Reply
  • Loknar - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    I'm waiting to see what Capcom comes up with to match this.. Reply
  • iwod - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    I really hope Apple uses these as their Controller. I could not understand why they are not using it and instead uses controller from Samsung or Toshiba....... Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    The advantage of Samsung and Toshiba is that they provide the whole package (controller, firmware, NAND, assembly etc.). Marvell only makes controllers and the firmware they provide is very basic and OEMs usually design their own firmware (that's why there are noticeable differences between Marvell SSDs).

    I see Samsung's PM830 as the most likely option for Apple, although a Marvell solution is also possible (Apple may need to source SSDs from multiple manufacturers, like they are doing with the MBA).
  • iwod - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    Interesting, but isn't Apple already the world largest NAND buyer? Why buy another package when they could easily build them themselves? I mean it is not like HDD, SSD are simple controller and NAND soldered together.

    And as we have already seen Apple do make their own SSD Firmware, so they will have to work on their own SSD firmware regardless of which manufacturer.

    And honestly, why another samsung parts in Apple when there are many great alternatives.

  • Kristian Vättö - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    Apple is definitely a big buyer of NAND but I'm not sure if they are the biggest. Building an SSD is relatively easy but doing it well is not. I think there are enough of these bad SSD stories showing that it's not as easy as one would think. Especially reliability is hard to achieve and that's what matters to Apple.

    Apple's purchase of Anobit may eventually lead to an Apple-designed controller but right now we don't know. Validation alone can easily take a year, and design can take even more so it will take a while before we know what Apple has been planning.

    Apple uses custom firmware in their drives but we don't know who wrote it. Apple could have paid for Samsung/Toshiba to customize the firmware to suit their needs. Or it could be the basic FW with a few Apple tweaks. It's totally different to make a few tweaks to a very mature FW compared to almost building the FW from a scratch.

    Apple buys lots of stuff from Samsung (and Toshiba) so they are logical choices. Creating a new relationship always has its risks and I bet Samsung offers fairly competitive pricing for Apple, plus their SSDs have proven to be very reliable.
  • alan1476 - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    Now maybe Marvell will turn its attention to the crappy SATA ports on the LGA 1155 and LGA 2011 not to mention the embarrassing LGA 1366 cards. You cannot use an SSD on them becuase it wont run at the rated speeds, so you are left with 2, yes only 2 Native Intel SATA ports that work correctly with SSDs. Reply
  • magnetar - Thursday, March 22, 2012 - link

    I agree 1000%, the so-called "Marvell 91xx SATA III" chipsets, that can only be used with one PCI-E lane, so are limited to 5Gb/s, instead of the 6Gb/s of true SATA III interfaces like those found on most Intel 6-series chipsets.

    I cannot understand how Marvell, and mother board manufactures, have gotten away with calling these SATA III speed capable interfaces. SSD and mother board manufactures forums are filled with questions about why their owners SATA III capable SSDs are not operating at their full speed. I cannot think of one mother board review anywhere that has even mentioned it, much less anyone calling Marvell out on this, although those of us out in the "wild" are very familiar with it.

    Is any SATA interface that surpasses the SATA II speed limit by one MB/s, qualified to be called SATA III? Or do the magic words "up to..." make it alright?

    Marvell does freely state the 91xx chipsets operate on one PCI-E lane, which I have seen when their Option ROM runs on my mother board, and displays "... Marvel 91xx... 5Gb/s...". Or read their product overview document on their website for these chipsets. Can someone tell me what I am missing here?

    Marvell does have their 88SE92xx series SATA III chipsets available now, apparently, that can be connected to two PCI-E lanes. They also have Marvell's SSD caching feature called HyperDuo, combining a SSD and HDD. Two of the chips have four "SATA III" connections, so does that mean we'll get twice as many under-performing SATA III ports?

    While I have two SSDs with Marvell SSD controllers (Crucial M4's, Intel 510) which IMO are great products, I won't take Marvells' word about their SATA III interface chip's performance until I see multiple tests that verify they perform as they should. Hopefully someday a PC hardware review web site will have the nerve to print the truth about these SATA chipsets.

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