If you don’t know the name Avant and you are relatively fluid in the SSD world, there is a reason. Avant Technology has been in business for some 27 years and in the SSD game since day one. In fact, they were working with SandForce even before SandForce came out of stealth mode. Since the first consumer SSD release back in 2007, Avant has been the manufacturer behind the brand sticker for many companies and remains to be even today. We have worked with Avant for several years in bringing new SSD companies to the surface, and before this years FMS, they would always politely ask not to be mentioned in our end published reports.
In our meeting with Avant this morning at FMS 2013, we threw out the question of how many companies they build SSDs for and, due to contractual obligations, even that can’t be answered. They are a major part of SSDs today and, if you have bought an SSD from NewEgg other than Samsung or Micron, it most probably started from Avant’s facility just outside of Austin, Texas. They account for a very large segment of SSD sales and their ability to custom build to customer needs makes them a force to reckon with. Most recently, both Mushkin and Edge have become Avant acquisitions.
AVANT 2TB SATA 3 SSD
The Avant 2TB SSD is a ‘LSI SandForce Driven’ solution containing 3 PCB’s which encorporate 4 x 480GB SSDs in a RAID 0 configuration to enable typical LSI SandForce speeds above 500MB/s. The sample shown here uses the SF-2581 while the same solution can be built with the SF-2281 and several options are available to the client with respect to memory selection and configuration.
As well, this unit can be custom built using SATA, SAS or PCIe. Similarly, one of the mezanine cards can be removed, changing the drive capacity and reducing its height from 15 to 12mm. This drive is presently being marketed in retail channels with Edge SSDs
MUSHKIN VENTURA ULTRA
Next up on the docket is the soon to be released Mushkin Ventura Ultra Flash Drive which just might stand to be the most powerful flash drive on the planet with performance of 455MB/s read, 400MB/s write and up to 39000 IOPS. The ultra is, of course, LSI SandForce based and utilizes a SF-2281 SATA 3 controller.
The Ventura Ultra will be available in capacities of 60, 120 and 240GB and the key to this drive is the fact that it is USB 3.0 and follows UASP (USB Attached SCSI) protocol which is the only that allow these higher speeds to be reached. Pricing is not set for this drive yet but Mushkin promises that it will be competitively priced.
We are just off for a meeting with Seagate but stay tuned as our next post will be on the ‘just announced’ Mushkin Scorpion Deluxe, again LSI SandForce based, built by Avant and marketed by Mushkin.