The controller in a solid state drive (SSD) is the heart and brains of the system. It implements in its hardware and firmware the storage protocol commands and other functions that provide for the reliable storage and retrieval of user data on the NAND flash media. It handles wear leveling to even the access across the NAND and extend the life of the SSD in the face of flash wear out. It provides error correction as required by the flash to ensure that defects do not cause loss of data. Some companies, including TCS, have successfully implemented SSDs using controllers designed by a variety of vendors. Implementing an SSD this way provides for a fast time to market and minimizes the investment required to design the product, because someone else has done the work of controller design. However, there are drawbacks to this method as well. This paper explains why TCS has invested the time, effort and R&D budget to develop its own controller and what the benefits are to TCS’ customers.
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