Need Reliability & High-Speed? Try Silicon Motion's PCIe FerriSSD | Symmetry Blog

Jun 13, 2019

With the continuing evolution of technology in the IoT industry, the demand for reliable high-speed data throughput for storage devices becomes more important.  For industrial and embedded applications, data speeds are of little value though if the data transferred has been corrupted or lost. Corruption of data transfers can occur because of a variety of sources, such as power failure, memory failure, system instability, and human error. To protect against the risk of data corruption or loss of stored data that could potentially result in a total system failure, manufacturers of Flash-based storage have been developing a variety of special technologies to counter this issue.

The development of data protection technology has reached a new level with Silicon Motion’s introduction of the PCIe FerriSSD, a NAND Flash-based data storage solution which is ideal for a wide range of embedded applications requiring fast access speed, a small flexible form factor, and a reliable boot and storage drive. The PCIe FerriSSD utilizes several advanced techniques to improve the data integrity, longevity, and performance of the SSDs.

Silicon Motion’s PCIe FerriSSD features DRAM cache with data redundancy. This embedded DRAM serves primarily as a backup during data transfers. When the PCIe FerriSSD communicates with the host system and data is written to or read from the NAND flash memory, the DRAM temporarily stores the user data if a sudden defect occurs in the flash storage.

The PCIe FerriSSD also employs Full end-to-end data path protection to ensure no corrupted bits are sent to host. Data errors that occur between the NAND and the host, such as soft error bits, are often extremely difficult to identify. The FerriSSD incorporates full data recovery engines to provide enhanced data integrity throughout the entire Host-to-NAND data path. This advance recovery engine allows the FerriSSD to effectively detect an error in the SSD data path, including hardware errors, firmware errors, and memory errors. This serves as an important component for the system’s data integrity as most conventional SSDs just pass the faulty data to the host without notifying it.

Silicon Motion also incorporates another sophisticated function to ensure the integrity of data in storage over time. The FerriSSD’s IntelligentScan & DataRefresh function accomplishes this by identifying at-risk memory cells and refreshing the data stored in them. This feature is crucial because it helps mitigate the risk of losing stored data as the number of Program/Erase cycles of the NAND storage increases and the ambient temperature of the system rises.


Hybrid Zone is a unique feature of the PCIe FerriSSD that provides an ideal blend of cost, reliability, and performance. In conventional SSDs, the NAND dies of the memory array are arranged as Single-layer cells (SLC), Multi-layer cells (MLC), and Triple-layer cells (TLC). SLC offers the lowest latency and density while TLC offers the highest memory density but also highest latency. MLC on the other hand is in between both SLC and TLC. Hybrid Zone takes advantage of both the low latency of SLC cells and the high memory density of TLC cells by partitioning a single NAND die into separate SLC and MLC/TLC zones. The divided SLC zone provides the high reliability and fast access for any crucial data while the MLC/TLC partition can serve as the storage space for any high-density information.

            The increased prevalence of cloud computing systems, especially in the IoT sector, means that the demand is growing for quick and reliable access to data. Silicon Motion’s engineers tackle this challenge as they have developed a full array of advanced technologies in their products to prolong the life of the SSD and protect the data from any potential loss or corruption. For any industrial and embedded applications that require robust performance, fast speeds, and reliable redundancies, the sophisticated features of Silicon Motion’s new PCIe FerriSSD will make it an ideal choice for engineers.

For more information about Silicon Motion FerriSSD, click here.


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Written By: Augustine Nguyen


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