The photo shows a macro of a silicon wafer.

A SSD controller manages the data stored on SSD and communicates with a computer or electronic device. It is a very important component and it would affect the performance of an SSD. I won't go into details about SSD controller here. Check the further reading section if you are interested.

It is very expensive (in millions of dollar) to develop a SSD controller. Most SSD manufacturers (for example: Corsair, Kingston, etc.) would not develop their own SSD controller. Instead, SSD manufacturers purchase SSD controllers from major companies and write their own firmware.

These are the major SSD controllers currently in the market: Phison, Silicon Motion (SMI), Marvell and Samsung. Other companies like Realtek and InnoGrit Corporation make SSD controllers too. Let's talk about some of them.

Phison controllers are everywhere. As of today, most PCIE 4.0 NVMe SSD use Phison SSD controllers. Current generation of SSD from Toshiba and Seagate mostly use Phison controllers, with their own firmware customization. Usually Phison controllers are paired with Toshiba NAND.

Current generation of SSD product from Intel and Micron mostly use SMI controllers with their own firmware customization. Usually SMI controllers are paired with Micron or IMFT NAND.

SSD made by Western Digital (e.g. WD Black NVMe SSD) should be using controllers from Marvell. Previous generation of WD Black NVMe SSD is actually Sandisk Extreme Pro NVMe, which uses Marvell controllers. Later generation of WD Black NVMe SSD should use Marvell controller with customized firmware.


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