Plextor M5S, M5 Pro Get NAND Flash Design Change
Plextor implemented a design change in the NAND flash memory of its M5S and M5 Pro series consumer SSDs. The two see a transit from 20 nm-class NAND flash chips in the BGA package, to 19 nm chips in the TSOP (pins along the shorter edges) package. Both chips are Toshiba-made. The controller and latest firmware (FW 1.02) remain unchanged. The move to chips in the TSOP package doesn't impact on the specifications or price of the products, but gives the controller the ability to handle greater page-size on the chips.
The TSOP chips feature maximum page-size of 16 KB/page, while the BGA chips feature 8 KB/page. In theory, this should improve "buffer management," when the controller decides to use NAND flash as scratchpads, in spite of having a gigabyte of DRAM cache at its disposal. Further, the new TSOP package NAND flash chips have lighter thermal requirements, letting Plextor get rid of the conductive thermal pads over the chips, saving a Dollar or two. The company did not release any markers on how to identify the two variants of drives by looking at serial numbers.
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