Introduction, Specifications and Packaging
A few months back, we took a look at the ADATA Premier Pro SP920 series of SSDs. Those came equipped with the Marvell 88SS9189 controller. Marvell SSD controllers have always done a good job, and they were among the first to support SATA 6Gbit speeds. Crucial was one of the first to adopt the Marvell controller into their SATA SSD products, so it seems fitting that we revisit the 88SS9189 controller in the form of Micron's Crucial M550 Series of SSDs:
Being one of the big manufacturers of SSDs, Micron has some cool production videos. Here's one of their videos covering the production of flash all the way through to the assembly of an SSD. We actually toured one of these plants a few years back. Good stuff:
The listed specs on the M550 product page are rather vague, but we have a little more detail available to us from a slide from their MX100 press brief, which covers the current Crucial SSD lineup:
To clarify here, all three models are sharing the same Marvell controller. The difference here is in further performance improvements to the firmware, along with some packaging changes to the newer models to help boost performance. The MX100 uses 16nm flash in higher capacities in order to help reduce cost, while the M550 adds 64Gb dies into the smaller capacity models in order to keep flash channel count high, minimizing the performance loss associated with the reduced die count of smaller capacity SSDs.
The M550's came with simple packaging. A spacer is included for installing the 7mm unit into a 9.5mm thickness enclosure or laptop.