A new “cost effective” USB 3.0 controller has been introduced, aimed at speeding up USB flash drives. Silicon Motion has began sampling its new SM3267, which it describes as a “single-channel, ultra high performance and cost-effective controller solution for USB 3.0 flash drives”. Users should see transfer rates up to 160MB/s, which Silicon Motion say represents an improvement of between 30 and 50 per cent on most competitors on the market today.
While the USB 3.0 specification supports transfer rates up to 4.8Gbps (about 600MB/s) the common-or-garden flash drive usually tops out at a much more modest 100MB/s read speed. Silicon Motion is hoping to improve these read speeds, enabling read transfers up to 160MB/s and also write speeds up to 60MB/s.
“We are very excited to introduce SM3267, our first crystal-less USB 3.0 solution with integrated power ICs,” said Wallace Kou, President and CEO of Silicon Motion. “SM3267 offers superior performance with competitive cost when compared to other USB 3.0 controllers in the market,” Kuo also noted that; “SM3267 has received design-ins from most of our current USB controller customers, including many top-tier OEMs, and we expect SM3267-based USB 3.0 flash drives will be commercially available starting in the fourth quarter of 2013.”
Highlights of the SM3267
- High-speed data transfer rates of up to 160MB/s read and 60MB/s write
- Integrated crystal and power ICs, including a 5V to 3.3V LDO and a 5V to 1.2V DC-DC, allows for 25-30% lower USB flash drive device temperature compared with other USB3.0 flash controller products in the market.
- Lower total BOM costs by up to 15 to 20% by eliminating the crystal oscillator and power ICs
- Supports the vast majority of NAND flash, including 2y/1x/1y nm TLC, MLC, high speed Toggle, and ONFI DDR NAND manufactured by Samsung, Toshiba, SanDisk, SK Hynix, Micron and Intel
- Passed both USB-IF compliance testing and WHCK (Windows Hardware Certification Kit) tests for Windows 7 and Windows 8
- Available in Chip-on-Board (COB) and in a 48-pin QFN green package with manufacturing-ready turnkey solutions designed to fit mainstream USB 2.0 flash drive modules.
The SM3267 is a crystal-less solution as it has an embedded crystal oscillator. Also all the integrated circuits for power management have been integrated. This means, according to Silicon Motion, that the inclusion of an SM3267 in a USB 3.0 flash drive design can help reduce the device cost as well as providing the aforementioned performance boost possibilities. It also sounds like the device wastes less power; inferred by the temperature readings reductions mentioned in the second point above.