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SandForce SSD processor line launched

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CIOL Bureau
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SARATOGA, USA: SandForce Inc. has rolled out its latest controllers in an effort to propel solid-state storage (SSD) drives into more of a mainstream product in the market.

The SF-2000 family of SSD controllers or processors from SandForce include three parts and is based on a 65-nm process from its foundry vendor-Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC). The SF-2300 is aimed at industrial applications, while the SF-2500 (SATA) and SF-2600 (SAS) are geared for the enterprise.

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These chips feature a 6 Gigabit-per-second SATA host interface, industry applauded DuraClass Technology, an unprecedented 60,000 sustained random read/write IOPS (Input-output Operations Per Second) and sustained sequential read/write performance of 500 Megabytes per second, said a press release.

In addition to state-of-the-art performance, reliability, security, and Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS) connectivity enhancements, the SF-2000 family supports single-level, multi-level, and enterprise multi-level cell (SLC, MLC, & eMLC) NAND Flash families from all major suppliers with its high-speed ONFi2 and Toggle Flash interface, it added.

"The market for SSDs is poised to experience rapid growth over the next few years,” said Jeff Janukowicz, research manager for Solid State Drives at IDC. “Solutions, such as the SandForce SF-2000 Family of SSD Processors, that enable increased performance and higher reliability in a flexible design will enable SSD vendors to meet the demands of this fast paced market."

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The company is leveraging the technology from its first products which were based on a 90-nm process from TSMC. As part of a major rollout last year, SandForce claimed to be the first company with an SSD processor supporting multi-level cell flash (MLC) chips.

SandForce is one of several companies that are currently pursuing the emerging SSD merchant controller market. Others companies in the fray include Indilinx, Jmicron, Marvell among others. Several other SSD players like Samsung, SanDisk, Toshiba, Intel and Micron make their own controllers. According to sources, Intel and Marvell have been collaborating on an SSD controller. Sources at SandForce say that the company is one step ahead in the overall SSD controller market due to its proprietary reliability and related technologies.

SSDs are NAND-based storage devices that claim to be lower power and faster than traditional hard disk drives (HDDs). However, SSDs have not taken off as fast as expected, due to cost and reliability issues. The technology has seen some success in netbooks, notebook PCs and other products.

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