Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

First look at the new Phison PS3110-S10 controller


During our coverage of the Flash Memory Summit, we spotted the new Phison PS3110-S10 controller:

At that time we only knew that Phison was going to team up with another SSD manufacturer to get these to market. We now know that manufacturer is Corsair, and their new product is to be called the Neutron XT. How do we know this? Well, we've got one sitting right here:

While the Neutron has not officially launched (pricing is not even available), we have been afforded an early look into the performance of this new controller / SSD. While this is suspected to be a cost effective entry into the SSD marketplace, for now all we can do is evaluate the performance, so let's get to it!

Read on for the full review!


  • SSD Controller: Phison PS3110-S10
  • NAND: Toshiba A19 MLC
  • Unformatted Capacity: 240GB / 480GB / 960GB
  • Max Sequential Read (ATTO): Up to 560MB/s
  • Max Sequential Write (ATTO): Up to 540MB/s
  • Max Random Read QD32 (Iometer): Up to 100K IOPS
  • Max Random Write QD32 (Iometer): Up to 90K IOPS
  • Form Factor: 7mm high 2.5”
  • Interface Type: SATA 6.0 Gb/s (SATA 3)
  • Warranty: 3 years

The Phison controller carries some new and interesting features. Here's a sampling:

  • Quad-core controller – Quad-core CPU dedicates three cores just to managing flash and maintaining performance
  • Maximum throughput and I/O – Offers speeds of up to 560 MB/s read and 540 MB/s write and 100K IOPs on read and 90 IOPs on write, saturating the SATA 6Gbps bus
  • End-to-end Data Path Protection – Enterprise level CRC/ECC corrects internal soft errors as well as detecting and correcting any errors that may arise between the DRAM, controller, and flash
  • SmartECC™ – Reconstructs defective/faulty pages when regular ECC fails
  • SmartRefresh™ – Monitors block ECC health status and refreshes blocks periodically to improve data retention
  • SmartFlush™ – Minimizes time data spends in cache to ensure data retention in the event of power loss
  • Advanced wear-leveling and garbage collection

Phison has chosen to dedicate three of the four cores to background activities such as garbage collection. This is an interesting move for consistency, however only leaving one core to handle the requested IO's from the host might be a negative. We'll know for sure once we hit the Iometer testing.


Blister pack in a box with 7mm to 9.5mm adhesive backed spacer. Keeping things simple. Gets the job done. Retail packaging may differ slightly, as we're looking at this fairly early in the production process.

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