Mushkin Expands SSD Lineup With 2TB, NVMe

Mushkin laid out the early 2017 SSD roadmap from start to finish at CES 2017. In it, we found a heavy dose of Silicon Motion, Inc. (SMI) controllers paired with current and next generation flash technology. The company's role in the foreseeable future is as a value-centric provider of quality components that meet both the performance and price demands of the entry-level and mainstream shoppers.

The sole NVMe product in the lineup comes with "Helix" branding. The drive will ship in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and eventually a massive 2TB model. Mushkin will take this SMI SM2260 model to production with Micron 3D MLC NAND flash to increase performance and endurance. The performance specifications show up to 2,600MB/s sequential read and 1,100 MB/s sequential writes. We expect pricing to be competitive with other SM2260 products coming to a congested mainstream NVMe market.

Products
Helix
Reactor Armor3d
Reactor
Triactor 3D
Triactor
Capacities
250GB - 2TB
240GB - 1920GB
250GB - 2TB
256GB - 2TB120GB - 960GB
Controller
SMI SM2260
SMI SM2258SMI SM2246ENSMI SM2258SMI SM2256
Interface
PCIe 3.0 x4
SATA 6Gbps
SATA 6GbpsSATA 6GbpsSATA 6Gbps
Protocol
NVMe
AHCI
AHCIAHCIAHCI
NAND
3D MLC3D MLC
MLC
3D TLC
TLC
Sequential Read
2.6 GB/s
565 MB/s
560 MB/s
565 MB/s
560 MB/s
Sequential Write
1.1 GB/s
525 MB/s
460 MB/s
520 MB/s
515 MB/s
Random Read
Up To 232,000
Up To 90,000Up To 76,000
Up To 90,000
Up To 87,000
Random Write
Up To 185,000
Up To 90,000Up To 76,000Up To 90,000Up To 87,000

Two existing SATA-based products will receive capacity updates in 2017. The first is the Reactor that we are so fond of in 1TB. The updated model will move the needle to 2TB but still retain a similar price-to-capacity ratio. The Reactor is based on an aging SM2246 controller but utilizes MLC NAND flash that doesn't require low-density parity check (LDPC) code to extent endurance.

The Triactor with the same SM2256 controller will move from 480GB to 960GB at the high end. This is a TLC model that costs less than the Reactor but leans on LDPC to increase endurance. For the most part, the Reactor and Triactor are simple capacity size expansions.

Two new products coming will take advantage of SMI's latest SM2258 controller and 3D flash. The Armor3d is the most exciting, with Micron 3D MLC, 565 MB/s sequential read performance, and a large overprovisioned 2TB capacity size. The overprovisioned space increases performance and should make up for many of the latency issues with first generation Micron 3D MLC.

The Triactor 3D with Micron 384Gbit 3D TLC will utilize the same SM2258 controller and a very large dose of programmed SLC to keep performance very close to the Armor3d. The advantage of this product is a lower price point, but at the expense of sustained write performance.

Mushkin has a well-balanced SSD product lineup going into 2017. We found a mix of new, newer, and newest technologies without a commensurate price increase.

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