Opening the drive required digging out the four screws which were hidden beneath the rear label.
The surprisingly diminutive PCB we found inside is held by two further screws with some thermal padding behind it.
On one side of the PCB we see just two NAND chips out of the four on board.
Looking closely, we see the 19nm eX2 ABL MLC chips are branded as SanDisk and are each 64GB in density for 256GB total on board.
On the other side, we find the remaining two NAND modules along with the controller and cache.
Thanks to the thermal padding, the lettering on the cache and controller are a little hard to make out. However, we can see enough to tell this is a Samsung DDR2 DRAM chip at 128MB capacity.
This is the first time we’ve seen the Marvell 88SS9175 SATA 6Gb/s capable controller and so far it seems very similar to the 9174 chip. It does a nice job of moving data quickly without the need for compression to boost performance; however, it does rely on a cache to buffer data as needed which sets it apart from the SandForce drives. It supports TRIM and idle garbage collection to keep things humming along and uses an eight channel architecture.