Micron has announced the first product based on their new in-house client NVMe SSD controller. The Micron 2200 doesn't boast performance sufficient to compete with the top enthusiast-class NVMe drives on the retail market, but should be plenty fast enough for OEMs and system integrators to use it as a performance option in the business PCs it is intended for.

Micron has been notably slow about bringing NVMe to their client and consumer product lines. They initially planned to launch both client OEM and consumer retail drives built around the combination of their first-generation 32-layer 3D NAND and the Silicon Motion SM2260 controller, but those plans were shelved as it became clear that combination could not deliver high-end performance. Last fall Micron finally launched the Crucial P1 entry-level NVMe SSD with QLC NAND and the SM2263 controller, but no high-end product has been announced until now.

It's been no secret that Micron has been working on their own NVMe SSD controllers. Every other NAND manufacturer has either developed in-house controllers or acquired a controller vendor, and complete vertical integration has worked out extremely well for companies like Samsung. Micron has been the odd man out sourcing all their controllers from third parties like Silicon Motion, Marvell and Microsemi, but their 2015 acquisition of startup controller design firm Tidal Systems made their intentions clear. That acquisition and any other in-house controller design efforts bore no visible fruit until Flash Memory Summit last year, when a prototype M.2 client NVMe SSD was quietly included in their exhibits.

Micron 2200 Specifications
Capacity 256 GB 512 GB 1 TB
Form Factor M.2 2280 Single-Sided
Interface NVMe PCIe 3 x4
Controller Micron in-house
NAND Micron 64-layer 3D TLC
Sequential Read 3000 MB/s
Sequential Write 1600 MB/s
4KB Random Read 240k IOPS
4KB Random Write 210k IOPS
Power Active 6 W
Idle 300 mW
Sleep 5 mW
Warranty Endurance 75 TB 150 TB 300 TB

Micron has not yet shared details about their new NVMe controller, but the basic specs for the 2200 SSD are available. The 2200 uses Micron's 64-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory and offers drive capacities from 256GB to 1TB as single-sided M.2 modules. The drive uses a PCIe gen 3 x4 interface and has the expected features for a Micron client drive, including power loss protection for data at rest and SKUs with or without TCG Opal self-encrypting drive (SED) capabilities.

The performance and write endurance ratings for the Micron 2200 don't match up well against top consumer drives, but compare favorably against entry-level NVMe SSDs. Endurance is actually lower than their Crucial MX500 mainstream consumer SATA drive, so any retail derivative of the 2200 will need to improve on that metric. No such retail version has been announced, but with the 2200 available now it is likely we'll be hearing from Crucial within a few months, though they may wait until later in the year to launch with 96 layer NAND instead of 64 layer.

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  • limitedaccess - Monday, March 18, 2019 - link

    Interesting that they launched a SATA SSD with their newer 96L NAND last month but this is 64L instead.
  • DanNeely - Monday, March 18, 2019 - link

    I wonder if it means this was delayed a few months, or if a v1 product it was just prioritized low for getting access to the newer nand.
  • ksec - Monday, March 18, 2019 - link

    I think the most important information is price. For consumers, pretty much all NVMe SSD now perform adequately. We will have to wait ( or Anandtech could test it ) with SSD going 6GB/s Seq Read Write and see if there are any Real World difference.
  • kpb321 - Monday, March 18, 2019 - link

    Yeah price will be key. It's specs are a bit lower than an HP ex920 or similar ADATA drive (~200mbs read/write and ~30k IOPS assuming those specs are for the larger size Drive(s)) but neither is far enough below it to be a huge difference but you'd definitely have a hard time selling a slightly slower drive for an equal or higher price. At this point in time if you can't beat Samsung on performance then you need to beat the EX920 and similar drives on price.
  • Duncan Macdonald - Monday, March 18, 2019 - link

    For most users, there is only one NVMe slot - normally occupied by the OS disk. If additional local storage is wanted then SATA is usually the only possibility. (It is a lot easier to add a SATA drive than to migrate the OS from one NVMe drive to another.)

    SATA drives will still have a future until most motherboards have multiple NVMe slots.
  • Cullinaire - Monday, March 18, 2019 - link

    Not having to support SATA drives with their bulk + cabling is gonna result in some pretty crazy form factors in the near future!
  • FunBunny2 - Monday, March 18, 2019 - link

    MB makers can put, what?, 8 or 10 SATA ports in the same real estate as one of these drives.
  • Cullinaire - Monday, March 18, 2019 - link

    The ports are not the issue - the space taken up by the cabling and the drives themselves is what matters.
  • bolkhov - Monday, March 18, 2019 - link

    "For most users, there is only one NVMe slot - normally occupied by the OS disk. If additional local storage is wanted then SATA is usually the only possibility. " -- no, quite the opposite is true.

    Many modern motherboards have TWO M.2 slots and usually only one of them is NVMe+SATA, while the second one is NVMe only.
  • JKJK - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - link

    What stops you in say using a asus pcie card with space for 4x m2 slots?

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