Q&A How to find out the chipset that is used in my SSD?

amirr

Level 15
Jan 26, 2020
717
I have a Zotac SSD, model:
ZOTAC ZTSSD-A5P-240G-PE

In 2018, a friend told me this:
"Regarding your SSD, Zotac probably just rebrands the drive from another manufacturer (there are very few chip manufacturers, like Intel, Samsung, Micron, SK Hynix, Toshiba), but I can’t find after a quick search the chipset that is used in your SSD. Not an Intel one, clearly, but it may be a Toshiba one. Who knows."

Any idea on how to find out the chipset that is used in my SSD?
 

XLR8R

Level 4
Jan 20, 2020
157
There are a couple of ways: Generally the manufacturer would have a whitepaper or two which details the controller. Otherwise, in the case of recent Gigabyte motherboards, they actually give a vendor ID for each SSD in the BIOS itself, which can then be searched.

For your Zotac, however, a quick Google search tells me it is based on a Phison controller and Toshiba memory. Zotac, being a Hong Kong-based company with advanced design and fabrication facilities, may actually be buying the parts (controller + memory) from the open market and putting them on a PCB (they sell a ton of graphics cards, they know circuit board design).
 

MacDefender

Level 14
Verified
Oct 13, 2019
670
Yeah these days a SSD is like a mini computer in more ways than not, so there's a couple major components:

- Who makes the NAND chips (usually Micron, Toshiba, Hynix)
- Who makes the overall board design (In-house, or sometimes Toshiba and Samsung in particular will offer OEMs rebranded full stack SSDs)
- Who makes the software on the SSD. SSD firmware manages what basically is the low-level filesystem of the SSD, which controls wear leveling, IO priority, error recovery, etc. Sometimes the software is done in house like at Apple/Intel/Samsung/HP, but and sometimes it's a mix. Apple used a lot of Toshiba drives 10 years ago but their firmware dumped from the SSD still wasn't identical to anything Toshiba sold to other manufacturers.
- Who makes the DRAM or SoC that powers the brains of the SSD.

I think the first 3 tend to be important when trying to decide if a generic branded SSD is equivalent to some major one. Unfortunately in today's world, manufacturers are doing a better and better job hiding this information.

In your case, TweakTown has opened up your SSD and that's probably the best way to tell: Zotac Premium Edition 240GB SATA III SSD Review
The controller is indeed a Phison one, and the main NAND chips are Toshiba MLC. There's 128MB of RAM from Nanya on there too. It also looks identical to some other 240GB SSDs like this one: Silicon Power Slim S60 240GB Solid State Drive Review


But yeah long story short, the chip is only a small piece of the puzzle. So much software and overall hardware goes into how data gets stored on a NAND chip. It's like shopping for a NAS and only caring what brand hard drives it has. Two NASes can have identical WD Red drives but if one is running TrueNAS/FreeNAS with ZFS and the other is running one random Linux + Samba thing I threw together in a weekend, I'm sure you'll have a preference which you trust more :D
 

insanity

Level 5
Oct 9, 2016
215
I have a Zotac SSD, model:
ZOTAC ZTSSD-A5P-240G-PE

In 2018, a friend told me this:
"Regarding your SSD, Zotac probably just rebrands the drive from another manufacturer (there are very few chip manufacturers, like Intel, Samsung, Micron, SK Hynix, Toshiba), but I can’t find after a quick search the chipset that is used in your SSD. Not an Intel one, clearly, but it may be a Toshiba one. Who knows."

Any idea on how to find out the chipset that is used in my SSD?
Intel, Samsung, Micron, Hynix, Kioxia (Toshiba) are flash memory manufacturers.
Kioxia doesn't make SSD controllers (the chipset). Intel does, but they use their in-house controllers for their enterprise SSD series only.
Common SSD controller manufacturers include, among others: Silicon Motion, Phison, Marvell, Realtek, Maxio.
Zotac probably uses a reference design SSD, it's not uncommon to see the same flash memory, same controller model and same firmware across different brands. Toshiba flash + Phison controller is a frequent combination.
 
Top