The Enmotus MiDrive combines true SLC and QLC on a single SSD

mongeese

TS Maniac
Staff member

Enmotus is about to become the Dr. Frankenstein of SSD manufacturers by mixing two somewhat opposing solid state storage technologies. On a single M.2 stick, they’ll take the slowest and fastest forms of NAND and blend them together to make one drive that can hopefully satisfy all demands.

SLC (single-level cell) storage has just one bit per cell, which makes it the fastest and most enduring form of NAND. The recently developed QLC (quad-level cell) storage offers four bits per cell and thus quadruple the density, making it much better value but also slower and less durable.

QLC drives generally allocate a few gigabytes as a cache to improve speeds. The MiDrive works in reverse, with a primary SLC component and a bonus QLC section to store files that are rarely accessed. A custom Phison controller is used to switch files between the SLC and QLC, which happens seamlessly in the background.

“Phison worked closely with Enmotus integrating Enmotus’ technology with our controllers,” said K.S Pua, CEO of Phison Electronics. “Positioning MiDrive between the niche high-performance consumer SSD market and cost-conscious users presents a tremendous market opportunity for Phison and Enmotus.”

Enmotus hasn’t said exactly how much of the SSD is SLC -- the total capacity is 1TB -- but in their press material, they describe it as containing the operating system, essential files and even games.

Enmotus is offering a five-year warranty on the drives, which is a nice bonus over the three years most QLC drives come with. Exact specifications are still sparse, and no pricing yet, but the company is sampling to OEMs. As with other CES announcements, we'll eventually see if this concept catches on or not.

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netman

TS Evangelist
Most likely 32-64 GB SLC and the rest QLC....Otherwise it cannot compete with the competition...!

Also the TRIM will be confuse with this configuration...!
 

CharmsD

TS Enthusiast
TechSpot Elite
Is that true for older SSD as well?
Probably only the very oldest.
Check it with this command:

I:\>fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify
Will output like this.

NTFS DisableDeleteNotify = 0 (Disabled)
ReFS DisableDeleteNotify = 0 (Disabled)

0 - means TRIM is enabled.
1 - TRIM is disabled.

Turn TRIM on.
fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 0
 
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urmask

TS Rookie
Hi! I'm not a tech wizard so just answer one simple question as you would to a 5 year old- what's the benefit of this pairing? Bigger size with extreme speeds at average cost?
 
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CharmsD

TS Enthusiast
TechSpot Elite
Hi! I'm not a tech wizard so just answer one simple question as you would to a 5 year old- what's the benefit of this pairing? Bigger size with extreme speeds at average cost?
Yes, that's it.
This MiDrive mixes two different types of memory, Single level and Four level, and there are some concerns about the life-span of Four level memory chips.
 

madboyv1

TechSpot Paladin
Hi! I'm not a tech wizard so just answer one simple question as you would to a 5 year old- what's the benefit of this pairing? Bigger size with extreme speeds at average cost?
Assuming the NAND controller does its magic well, a somewhat faster and (on paper) more durable SSD than TLC/QLC only drives, but without the added cost of being SLC only?

It's basically an all-SSD version of a SSHD.
 

urmask

TS Rookie
Assuming the NAND controller does its magic well, a somewhat faster and (on paper) more durable SSD than TLC/QLC only drives, but without the added cost of being SLC only?

It's basically an all-SSD version of a SSHD.
Thank you ;)
 

Redshirt4life

TS Rookie
Intel has been doing the same thing with their 660p+optane drives. It's nothing new. Besides, there are tlc drives that are damn near the same price of qlc units. I'd expect this drive to be even more expensive bc of the cache. Couple that with lowered performance and endurance....

Yeah, this is dumb.
 

Danny101

TS Evangelist
Is there not a standard between SLC and TLC? Like a DLC (double level chips)? If QLC is low quality, then even at low cost, it doesn't seem worth it. Keeping prices down is nice, but not at the expense of hardware weakness and data loss. It isn't like companies keep prices down for charity sake. I can remember paying nearly $300 for a 1.2 GB hard drive in the mid-90's and that was just how it was. The pricing gets better over time and while I do have increased storage requirements, I'm just now looking at 1-2 TB drives as a need and that will likely be all I will need for a while.