SandForce Announces SATA 3 SSD Processor Capable of 500MB/s Read and Write Speeds

Sandforce has announced its release of a new SATA3 SSD processor that is capable of, not only equaled 500MB/s read and write speeds, but also, random read and write IOPS at the 4k random transfer level will sustain an unbelievable rate of 60k.

A few days ago, The SSD Review was contacted by Michael Schoolnik of Story Public Relations and an opportunity offered that, quite frankly, we couldn’t resist. Before we knew it, we were having a ‘one on one’ with Kent Smith, Sr. Director of Product Marketing at SandForce, a scheduled 45 minute conversation that carried on well passed business hours. The topic was the announcement of new SandForce line of SF-2000 processors at the enterprise and industrial level but even Kent agreed that such a conversation wouldn’t be possible without a bit of spillage into the consumer area. The trend has always been such that enterprise and business get first kick at the cat followed by the consumer so keep an eye open for manufacturer news on their new SandForce SATA3 release any time soon.

THE SANDFORCE SF-2000 SERIES FOOTPRINT

The new SF-2000 processor has been benchmarked beside the SF-1500 which resulted in an increase of between 84% and 120% throughout all tests, results available in the pdf file below. Although the hottest buzz has been the upgrade of SSDs and their hardware to SATA 3 and its blazing speeds, SandForce has provided a footprint for much more than that. The ‘spillage’ the consumer will see in the near future will most likely take the shape of these specifications:

  • SATA 3 drives capable of parallel read and write speeds of 500MB/s
  • unequaled IOPS of 60k at sustained 4k transfer level
  • equal 60k IOPS for BOTH read and write speeds
  • SSD Toolbox available for manufacturers to include with SSDs;
  • RAISE technology that now allows full recovery of information as high as the block level should a failure occur
  • DuraWrite technology which allows the Processor to optimize mlc in high IO environments so that it lasts longer which enables mlc to be used more commonly at the enterprise level
  • SAS-bridge support for non-512 byte sectors which allows for the SF-2000 chips to optimize SAS drive performance
  • increase from AES-128 encryption to AES-256 – double encryption
  • Full support of ONFi2 speeds creating a 4 times faster flash bus
  • enhanced ECC (error correction) on the fly which is now supported at full speeds
  • hardware control at the enterprise/business level which allows adjustment of power/performance ratio (throttling) based on their specific needs

For the average consumer, a few of these specs may seem a bit complicated but suffice it to say that SandForce believes that they have surpassed their goals of much better performance along with increased reliability and durability. They believe this will result in a very attractive product at the enterprise and business levels which will then accommodate for a superior footprint as it reaches the client. Identification for the processor will be SF-2300 (industrial), SF-2500 (enterprise) and SF-2600 (enterprise SAS). Kent remained silent when we put forward the question of the numbering for the consumer release. Could we perhaps see the SF-2200 to follow in line with the present release?

SandForce also sent The SSD Review a SF-2000 Analyst Brief that describes, not only the companies background but also, present and future hardware variables that had to be carefully considered to ensure that the SF-2000 series release would become an industry leading product. An example of one of these variables is the expected decline of endurance, data retention and flash reliability as we move to a new size of NAND flash and larger capacity SSDs. The SSD Review has received approval to make this available to our readership and registered site members may download the 22 page document by simply clicking on the ‘Sandforce Driven’ logo below.

At the end of the day, it would be wrong not to comment on the milestones set by SandForce as well as to pay compliment to the enthusiasm held by its employees. At the recent Intel Developer Forum (IDF) 2010 held in San Francisco, SandForce was the only manufacturer that could showcase Intels new 25nm flash with their current processors, a feat we would have thought reserved for Intel as they are expected to be out of the gate first with their new 25nm SSD. As well, most recently SandForce and IBM teamed up to build a server consisting of 672 SandForce based 1.8″ mlc SSDs which resulted in the highest reported TPC-C (Transaction Processing Performance Council) benchmark of all time. A quick check of TPC shows that the test proved to put forth not only a remarkable jump in the tpmc score, but also, the price/tpmc dropped drastically because of the significantly lower price point afforded by mlc drives.

SandForce was created in 2006 and made its first public information release just over a year ago which has since literally changed the way we look at solid state drives. Much can be said of the effect that SandForce has had on the SSD industry in such a short time, especially when reviewing Bit-Tech’s article of Apr 09. SandForce is located in Saratoga, CA, has 88 employees, and has recently received the support of several major investors to close $25 million in Series D funding which has enabled this venture and announcement to move forward. The success of SandForce goes without question as it continues to lay clam to an area of the computer industry that is skyrocketing.

SandForce will demonstrate SF-2000 products at the Storage Networking World Exhibition, booth #413 (Gaylord Texan Hotel, Dallas, Texas, October 11-14). SandForce 2.5-inch SSD reference designs will be on display operating with 30nm-class Flash memory with both ONFi2 and Toggle interfaces. Other products on display in the SandForce booth include unique form factor products from various SandForce Driven SSD manufacturers with SATA, SAS, and PCI Express host interfaces. All SandForce SSD Processors include award-winning DuraClass Technology with features like RAISE to reduce field failures and returns, DuraWrite to optimize MLC endurance in write intensive applications, and a high sustained and balanced read/write performance.

The SSD Review was very fortunate that Mr. Kent Smith, Sr. Director of Product Marketing at SandForce , spoke frankly on many topics of consumer interest without hesitation and it would be unfair to try and condense the entire interview into one article. Stay tuned for subsequent articles with respect to this conversation.

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