by Thomas M. Rent

SSD Components

An SSD doesn't actually have many unique parts and the differentiation in SSDs from different manufacturers often happens in the controller and firmware more than anything else. The following table highlights the key components of an SSD with a brief definition for each. 

More detailed information is available for these SSD Components:

 

System Component
Description
Other information
Device Driver(s)
Software created by the OEM to run on the target host processor family under a particular OS and File System. The device driver provides host access the particular SSD product. 
Generally device specific, or device family specific, and provided by the OEM.
The electrical interface between the host processor and the SSD peripheral device.
Commonly:
SATA (various), FC, SAS, IDE, PCIe, mPCIe, USB, 1394
 
The electronic component(s) that provide SSD device level interfacing and firmware execution. Included is an embedded processor, data ROM, data RAM, flash component interfacing, error correction code (ECC), wear leveling/TRIM, and security features.
Commonly:
Indilinx IDX110M00-FC
Intel PC29AS21AA0
JMicron JMF612
Samsung S3C29RBB01-YK40
Toshiba T6UG1XBG
SandForce SF-1500
Buffer/Cache Components
This is high speed RAM memory components used for speed matching and to increased data throughput.
Integrated into the Controller in consumer SSDs but are separate components in larger server systems.
Controller Firmware
Software written and stored in electrically erasable memory for execution by the controller. Can be upgraded once in service.
 
Some advanced techniques include NCQ, TRIM, and wear leveling.
Device specific and provided by the SSD OEM in most cases.
Individual Flash die or devices using either NAND or NOR technology. Densities vary from 2GBytes to 64GBytes.
Common suppliers:
Toshiba
IMFT (Intel Micron JV)
Samsung
Hynix
Packaging
Various physical form factors
1.8”, 2.5”, 3.5”, various heights.
SD, CF, USB, PATAZIF

Related Guides:

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