Saturday, 08 June 2013 20:34

Safer and more energy efficient SandForce

sandforce

LSI has expanded features of SandForce SF-2200 controller line for SSD solutions. The company has also added support for hardware-based data encryption (SED) and reduced controllers power consumption in the standby mode.

Kingston-logoWith all of the security related news flying around we have received word from Kingston about an issue that affects the encryption feature in their SSDNow V+200 and KC100 lines. The issue is with the level of encryption that the SF-2000 is presenting. According to LSI (Pronounce that SandForce) the SF-2000 should be encrypting your data with 256-bit AES encryption. The problem is that it is not providing that and is instead only hitting 128-Bit AES Encryption.

introSolid State drives are what the enthusiast market wants for storage. This has been the case since the first SSDs hit the market a few years ago. However, the drives were too expensive for most and ended up being available to very few. In the last year or so the price per Gigabyte has dropped to almost $1 making the SSD a more viable option for not only the enthusiast but also for the regular consumer market. Additionally with the introduction of high-performance, low cost SATA 3.0 Controllers for SSDs the performance of these drives has made them almost too good to pass up. As far as completion and variety the SSD market is also better now than the traditional magnetic media market. There are simply more companies making SSDs than there are making HDD. We have already taken a look at a few of these in the past and are now working into the new line of SATA 3.0 drives complete with the SandForce 2281 SATA 3.0 controller. Today we have one from Patriot Memory, the PyroSE 120GB solid state drive. Let’s see just how fast it is.

LSI_logo-sandjpgRight after the announcement of the SLI/SandForce deal we reached out to a couple of our sources; one at LSI and one inside the Sandforce Sales team. We have already told you about our surprise to hear that people in the DAS (Direct Attached Storage) group had no inkling that the deal was going to happen. One even made the comment that they thought Intel would end up grabbing them. It seemed odd that this would happen with this particular group… at least it did at the time.

We also speculated that LSI might not have talked to the DAS group (even the senior staff) because they would not be part of the new division. That is to say that LSI might end up with their own flash memory drive group. This is not an unbelievable thought as just about any company with access to Flash memory can build SSDs.

Now we have heard back from our contact inside Sandforce and although the reply was the “party line” we think this one does ring true.  The comment was something on the order of this move will help us extend our reach. SFI (SandForce Inc.) has a pretty good reach as it is; they are deep in with OCZ, Kingston, Patriot, Corsair and many others. To say that LSI lets them extend their reach is a great clue to what might be in store in the near future.

We feel that LSI could be very interested in making their own SSDs to compete on the market.  However, we do not think they will be pulling the plug from their partners any time soon either. You see LSI needs flash memory; this means they need to work with companies like Kingston, OCZ and others to get that vital piece of the puzzle. LSI will get the know-how and performance from SFI and SFI will get the bank roll and size of a company like LSI. We also expect to see LSI take its enterprise knowledge and put it to use making enterprise class SSDs. They have great deal of experience working with Seagate to optimize their controllers for the enterprise market and now they have what they need to push SSDs into that coveted space with a solid name behind them.

The next piece of the puzzle would be LSI entering into an agreement with one of the bigger flash memory companies. If this happens it would complete the set and make this scenario even more likely.

Discuss in our Forum

Thursday, 27 October 2011 22:35

LSI buys Sandforce for $322 Million..

LSI_logo-sandjpgLSI, maker of storage adapter cards and other such fun products has bought Sandforce for a whopping $322 Million in cash. We all read about is yesterday with everyone pushing out the press release, but the question is, what does this mean to the market? I asked a contact of mine in the DAS (Direct Attached Storage) performance group and was surprised to hear that they did not know anything about the deal.

This means that this deal is outside the normal company envelope. While we are certain that LSI will be producing SSDs in the future it does make me wonder how this will impact the way their company operates. After all LSI has had a long standing partnership with Seagate and at one point it was rumored that delays in the Pulsar Enterprise class SSDs was due to LSI building their own SSD controller. Now we wonder if there was some truth to that rumor.

So what does the combination of LSI and Sandforce mean to the market? For the short term you can expect the price of SSDs using the Sandforce controller to go up as they have to pay for this deal somehow. Next we are sure that LSI will enter the PCIe SSD market in the next 12 to 18 months. This will probably be followed by an enterprise class SSD to rival the ones that Intel and Seagate are producing.  After that the consumer drives will start hitting and another SSD player is born. It is an interesting thing, not all that long ago someone told me that making HDDs was a hard and demanding task, but anyone with flash memory could make an SSD. Given the number of companies on the market making SSDs we have to agree with them, but then again an SSD is like Pizza; when they are good, they are very good and when they are bad… well they are still pretty good.

We are looking forward to finding out more about what is going on with Sandforce and LSI in the coming months, the deal won’t be final until probably 2H 2012 so there is still the chance that something will pop up. In the meantime we are going to see if we can find out more from both LSI and Sandforce about this.

Discuss in our Forum

New Patriot Memory Pyro SATA III brings cutting-edge SandForce processor to the performance segment

FREMONT, CALIF., USA – August 3rd, 2011 - Patriot Memory, a global pioneer in high-performance memory, NAND flash, storage, and enthusiast computer products, today expanded their new line up of SATA III solid-state drives with the launch of its new Pyro line powered by SandForce’s® new SF-2281 SSD processor. The Patriot Memory Pyro series raises the bar on what’s expected from performance class SSD drives delivering enterprise-like performance to consumer desktops and notebooks.

The Pyro series utilizes the new SandForce® SF-2281 processor enabling it to eclipse previous mid-tier SSD performance scores with up to a blazingly-fast 550MB/s sequential read and up to 515MB/s sequential write speeds provided through a SATA 6.0 Gb/s interface. The Pyro series will feature a standard 2.5-inch form factor for compatibility with notebooks and select desktops and will ship with the latest 3.1.9 firmware

The Patriot Memory Pyro will continue to aggressively expand on what consumers can expect out of performance class solid state drives.” Says William Lai, Patriot Memory’s Product Manager. “With near enterprise level performance by utilizing the new SandForce® SF-2281, coupled with Patriot Memory's reputation; Pyro will deliver unmatched price per performance."

 

General details

  • New Patriot Pyro series SSDs
  • 60GB, 120GB, & 240GB capacities
  • SandForce® SF-2281 SSD processor
  • SATA 6.0 Gbps interface
  • Up to 550MB/s sequential read speeds
  • Up to 515MB/s sequential write speeds
  • Up to 85K 4K random write IOPS
  • TRIM Support

About Patriot Memory

Patriot Memory designs, manufactures and markets high performance, enthusiast memory modules, flash products, and computing technologies. Patriot products have become world renown for their extreme performance, reliability and innovation. Patriot Memory sells its products through original equipment manufacturers, retailers, e-tailers and distributors throughout the world with operations in North America, Asia and Europe. Patriot Memory LLC was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Fremont, California, USA.

All company and/or product names may be trade names, trademarks and/or registered trademarks of the respective owners with which they are associated. Features, pricing, availability, and specifications are subject to change without notice.

** MEDIA ALERT **

   

Kingston Digital Ships SandForce-based HyperX SSD

 

Fountain Valley, CA -- (August 1, 2011) -- Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced it is shipping the HyperX® SSD, its first SATA Rev. 3.0 6Gb/s solid-state drive. The Kingston® HyperX SSD features the latest SandForce® controller and is designed for enthusiasts, gamers and performance users.

Kingston HyperX SSD highlights include:

  • 120GB and 240GB capacities*. Ships as a standalone SSD (includes HyperX branded 2.5" to 3.5" desktop mounting plate); or as a bundle with the HyperX Upgrade Kit for easy installation (includes Acronis® True Image™ HD migration software, desktop mounting plate, external drive bay, multi-head screwdriver, SATA data cable.

·         Incredible sequential read/write throughputs of 555 / 510MB/s1.

  • SandForce SF-2281 controller featuring SATA Rev 3.0 (6GB/s).

·         Max 4KB random read/write of 95,000 / 70,000 IOPS2 (120GB).

·         Premium Intel 25nm Compute NAND (P/E 5K).

 

Kingston HyperX SSD

Part number

Capacity and features

Street Pricing3 Amazon.com, Buy.com, Newegg.com, TigerDirect.com  

(U.S. only)

SH100S3/120G

120GB Stand-alone SSD

$ 269.99

SH100S3/240G

240GB Stand-alone SSD

$ 284.99

SH100S3B/120G

120GB HyperX Bundle Kit

$ 519.99

SH100S3B/240G

240GB HyperX Bundle Kit

$ 539.99

 

* Some of the listed capacity is used for formatting and other functions and thus is not available for data storage. For more information, please consult Kingston’s Flash Memory Guide at Kingston.com/Flash_Memory_Guide.        

1 Based on internal testing. Performance may vary based on system settings.

2 Based on “out-of-box performance with IOMeter08.

3 Limited time at launch.


 About Kingston Digital, Inc.

Kingston Digital, Inc. (“KDI”) is the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the world’s largest independent manufacturer of memory products. Established in 2008, KDI is headquartered in Fountain Valley, California, USA. For more information, please visit www.kingston.com or call 800-337-8410.

 

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Kingston and the Kingston logo are registered trademarks of Kingston Technology Corporation. All rights reserved. All other marks may be the property of their respective titleholders.