Via Technologies Set to Develop Controllers for Solid-State Drives

Tensilica and Via Team Up for SSD Controllers

by Anton Shilov
02/15/2012 | 11:05 PM

Via Technologies, a leading designer of controllers and low-power microprocessors, has decided to enter rapidly growing market of controllers for solid-state drives (SSDs). The company selected Tensilica's Xtensa dataplane processors (DPUs) for a system-on-chip (SoC) design for SSDs.


SSDs require faster and efficient data management and manipulation to increase their throughput (measured in input/output operations per second, or IOPS) while maintaining low-power consumption and high-reliability. After conducting a technical evaluation, Via determined that Tensilica's DPUs provide over four times the performance of competing processors on key algorithms used to benchmark competitive alternatives.

"In the SSD market, every competitive advantage we can get is very important. We have a significant advantage using Tensilica DPUs to lower the power and increase the throughput of our products," said Jiin Lai, chief technology officer of Via Technologies.

Tensilica's DPUs allow designers to customize the IP core, mix both control and signal processing, and add high-bandwidth connectivity to increase performance without increasing the clock speed. For example, designers can use single-cycle bit field manipulation and arithmetic instructions along with multiple simultaneous single-cycle table lookups to achieve over 10 times the efficiency of other processors. This not only increases IOPS, but also significantly reduces the energy consumed and the complexity of the SoC design itself.

"Via is a great example of how our customers benefit from high performance, low energy consumption, and small die size with Tensilica DPUs that have full software and hardware development paths which simplifies integration with existing RTL and software," said Steve Roddy, Tensilica's vice president of marketing and business development.