The Intel 3rd Generation SSD controller was first seen in our review of the DC S3700 SSD in late 2012, and followed by our later review of the DC S3500 in May of 2013, both SSDs being enterprise variant drives targeted for the data center. The controller is an 8 channel 6Gbps controller and has enjoyed a great deal of success, the DC S3500 in fact almost hitting consumer enthusiast hands with its low price point. Intel has an amazing SSD team ranging from architects, to engineers all the way up to the marketing team that is our first line of contact. That said, a question that has always been left without answer, until today, has been what company physically manufacturers Intel’s 3rd Gen controller?
The picture above displays the controller from our review of the DC S3700. This is the same controller most recently used on the DC S3500 and all bear the product number of PS29AS21CA. From our perspective, we have known for some time that Intel isn’t physically manufacturing SSD controllers and, even in their release of the 910 Series PCIe SSD, the controller was publicly identified as a Hitachi/Intel build.
If you want to see examples of all Intel controller builds, check out The SSD Database, select ‘Controller ID’ and type ‘Intel’ for the search criteria.
We asked the question once again, this time unexpectedly receiving confirmation from Intel that their 3rd Generation controller, “has been architected by Intel with Intel firmware. It is manufactured exclusively for Intel. Intel contracts LSI for the manufacturing of this controller.”
From our standpoint, the manufacturer of Intel’s 3rd Gen 6Gbps SSD controller has never been as important as the reputation earned through performance and reliability. Time is the best indicator of SSD controller quality and this is an ideal example as it has been in distribution since December of 2012. Quite frankly, this little gem just might be one of the best SSD controllers on the market, so much that we even recommended it as an ideal enthusiast choice in our review of the DC S3500 last year.
Intel’s 3rd gen controller manufactured by LSI? Who knew right? That’s a win win no matter how you look at it.