Via Technologies has announced their entrance into the emerging solid state drive market with plans to produce their own branded controllers. The company, known for providing various controllers to motherboard manufacturers as well as their low power x86 offerings, will utilize Tensilica’s Xtensa dataplane processors (DPUs) to create a system-on-chip design for SSDs.
Via determined that Tensilica’s DPUs were capable of providing four times the performance of competing processors on key algorithms used to benchmark other alternatives. As outlined in a press release from Tensilica, conventional processors increase the clock speed as a common way to ramp up performance. Consequently, this results in increased heat and die size which ultimately leads designers to implement complex multi-core solutions.
Tensilica’s DPU is said to allow designers to customize the IP core, mix control and signal processing and add high-bandwidth connectivity to increase overall performance without having to raise clock speeds.
"In the SSD market, every competitive advantage we can get is very important," stated Jiin Lai, VIA's CTO. "We have a significant advantage using Tensilica DPUs to lower the power and increase the throughput of our products."
The SSD market is gaining traction faster than ever. The flooding in Thailand and subsequent spinning hard drive shortage has no doubt led some users to experiment with flash storage. SSD speeds continue to soar while pricing is becoming more reasonable with each passing day.
If Via can deliver a product that is indeed four times faster than what’s currently available within a decent time frame, they are sure to shake up an industry dominated by the likes of Sandforce and Marvell.