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SSD controller flaunts dual PCIe, SATA interface support

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:LSI? PCIe? SATA interface? SSD controller? solid state drive?

LSI has debuted its third generation SandForce flash controller line, touted by the company as the industry's most widely deployed flash management technology for driving PCIe and SATA solid state drive (SSD) and flash card solutions. Geared to support power-sensitive client computing applications as well as I/O-intensive enterprise and hyperscale environments, the SandForce SF3700 claims to be the first flash controller that supports both native PCIe Gen2 x4 and SATA 6Gb/s host interfaces in a single design. This simplifies SSD designs and helps to significantly reduce development and manufacturing costs for SSD makers, noted LSI.

With the addition of the SF3700 family's PCIe interface support, users can achieve performance of over 1.8GB/s sequential reads, three times improvement compared to SATA-based solutions.

M.2 form factor cards designed with the SF3700 flash controller's industry-only dual PCIe and SATA interface can use a simple manufacturing jumper to select the final desired interface for better inventory and cost management. The SF3700 family's PCIe interface supports AHCI and NVMe protocols to enable both legacy applications of PCIe flash and efficient NVMe flash storage application acceleration solutions.

SandForce SF3700

Exclusive SandForce controller data reduction technology combines several techniques to extend NAND flash memory life as flash geometries shrink and trend toward lower reliability. The SF3700 family's optimized DuraWrite data reduction technology helps to maximize SSD endurance by further lowering write amplification and the number of program erase (P/E) cycles.

The SHIELD Error Correction technology extends flash memory life and significantly improves data integrity by implementing a flash-optimized low-density parity-check (LDPC) code that combines hard-decision, soft-decision and DSP together with unique adaptive error correction code rates. This enables SSD manufacturers to deliver enterprise-class product life and data integrity, even when using less expensive flash memory.

Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements (RAISE) technology, which is similar to RAID, delivers new levels of data protection specifically designed for SSDs by protecting against page, block and full die failures in a single drive environment. The SF3700 family's unique ninth channel for an extra flash package enables more RAISE protection and user capacity options.

Data security is an important component in today's digital age, and the SF3700 family enterprise controllers feature unique dual AES-256 drive-level encryption to secure data without incurring additional host processor load. Optional support for TCG Opal and Enterprise specifications ensure broad interoperability and ease of data security management, added LSI.

The SF3700 family controllers provide up to 2TB maximum capacity and a 9-channel ONFI-3/Toggle-2 flash interface. Their modular and flexible architecture enables fast migration to new host interfaces and media types, allowing for significant firmware reuse between new products, as well as continuous innovation throughout the life of the product. The result is an accelerated time to market, increased ability to support customer-specific customizations, and an extended product life for SSD manufacturers and system OEMs.

SF3700 flash controllers are sampling to select SSD OEM customers. Volume customer shipments are expected in 1H14.

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