SandForce unveils SF-2000 SSD controller

October 8, 2010 // 5:21 p.m.

Tags: #sandforce #sandforce-ssd #sata-3 #sata-6gbps #sata-iii #sf-2000 #solid-state #ssd #storage

Hot on the heels of the news about Intel's up-coming SSD refresh comes an announcement from SandForce that its latest SF-2000 family of SSD controllers is ready to ship - and judging from the specifications, SandForce will be fighting for the performance crown.

The first thing to note about the new SF-2000 controllers is that they come with support for SATA 6Gbps, a significant boost over the current-generation SATA 3Gbps that Intel is using in its third generation X25 SSDs.

The SF-2000 family is designed to support NAND flash right down to the 20nm process level, and when fitted to high-speed NAND chips SandForce claims that the SF-2000 controller can scale to 500MB/sec sustained sequential read/write speeds, along with sustained random IO per second of 60,000 IOPS.

Interestingly, SandForce's SF-2000 series is still going to play host to the company's cache-less DuraWrite technology, meaning that SF-2000 SSDs can be constructed without any DRAM components, keeping the cost down. As well as the native SATA versions, SandForce will be partnering with hardware manufacturers to produce business-class SAS versions as well as PCI Express editions that feature a RAID controller and an SSD on the same card.

Power saving options are included in the build, with the performance scaling down if you need to make the most of your battery life. There's also an advanced ECC engine that can correct errors of up to 55 bits per 512 byte sector to ensure your data doesn't go bye-byes.

Michael Raam, SandForce's president and chief executive, claims that his company is "building on the success of our first generation product now in production with multiple Enterprise OEMs by introducing the SF-2000 family that offers significant feature and performance enhancements for our rapidly expanding customer base of trusted SandForce Driven Enterprise and Industrial SSD manufacturers."

Trumpeting performance claims such as 500MB/sec read/write throughput is all well and good, but the real test is going to be how the controller performs when it's in a physical product that's ready for sale. While reference designs will be shown off at the Storage Networking World Exhibition next week, it could be a while before we see actual products hitting the shelves.

Are you impressed at SandForce's performance claims for the SF-2000 series, or are you going to hold fire on your enthusiasm until we can benchmark an actual drive based around the controller? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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