Marvell has just announced a new Serial ATA 6 Gbps controller, the Marvell 88SE9130. This additional chip, like its predecessors, is connected to a PCI-E 2.0 lane and offers two additional SATA 6 Gbps ports. It also supports a new technology called HyperDuo.
The concept of HyperDuo is simple: it combines an SSD with an HDD to get the best of both worlds. Both peripherals are visible as distinct volumes to the end user, with HyperDuo managing distribution of files to the SSD or the HDD according to how often they’re used. You can also chose where files go manually. Advanced users may well prefer to retain control of the distribution of their data and use the two distinct volumes as they please, bypassing HyperDuo.
HyperDuo works in two modes, with Safe Mode mirroring the same data on the SSD and the HDD. The capacity of the logical volume grouping the HDD and SSD then corresponds to the capacity of the HDD. Capacity Mode combines the capacities of the two drives into a single logical volume but without duplication of data.
HyperDuo works on the same principle as hybrid drives and extends it to two distinct peripherals. ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI are likely to be using the 88SE9130 in forthcoming motherboards. It remains to be seen if the HyperDuo drivers will also support TRIM, something we’re still waiting to hear from Marvell on.
Note moreover that the future Intel RST 10.5 drivers are likely to integrate a similar technology, named RST SSD Caching.