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SandForce Introduces New SF-2100 and SF-2200 Client Product Lines

SandForce announced details today for their second generation of client SSD controllers. The new controller line features increased performance, security capability, and reliability across the range. SandForce’s business model is bringing enterprise class controller technology to commodity NAND flash, and if the performance numbers of these controllers hold up across the SandForce powered range of SSD vendors, they will have succeeded in pushing that envelope.

The main advantages of the new controllers are:

  • Increased read and write speeds
  • Enhanced security features featuring AES-256
  • Better reliability through enhanced error correction.

First, let’s look at the performance increase. The SF-2100 family will allow for sequential read and write speeds up to 250 MB/s with up to 60 K IOPS (Sustained 4K read) and 20K IOPS (sustained 4K writes). It will be available in both 4 flash channel / 4 byte lanes configuration and 8 flash channel/ 8 byte lane setup. The SF-2200 series ups the ante to 500 MB/s sequential read and write speeds. While the 2100 Series makes use of a 3Gb/s SATA bus, the SF-2200 family steps up to the 6 Gb/s SATA interface. The good news is that the SF-2200 controllers really make use of that 6 Gb/s bandwidth. SandForce rates the sequential Read and Write speeds at 500 MB/s, which is approximately equal to 4000 Mb/s or 4 Gb/s. This is well in excess of the effective 300 MB/s limit of SATA 3 Gb/s. Furthermore, the high end SF-2282 will feature 8 flash channels and 16 byte lines.

The entire line supports both AES-128 and AES-256 security. All the processors also features enhanced ECC with BCH and 55 bits/512 byte sector for improved error correction and reliability. This will prove to be more important as the industry continues to adopt 25 nm flash, which requires high performance error correction capabilities.

Overall, this launch is very exciting mainly because of the high speeds of the SF-2200 family product. I cannot wait to see the new SSD lines that will be based on these controllers and start testing the performance numbers. According to the press release, there will be demos of new drives using these controllers at CEBIT in Hanover, Germany, on March 1-5, 2011.

-Chip Sanders

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