SandForce launches first SSD range

April 14, 2009 | 14:49

Tags: #enterprise #flash #mlc #nand #netbook #slc #ssd

Companies: #sandforce

The competition in the solid-state disk market is hotting up with newcomer SandForce announcing a range of MLC-based SSDs that promise to bring SLC performance at a greatly reduced price.

As reported over on GadgetMix, the company is looking to get users into SSD storage in a major way with its new SF-1000 range of devices. Coupling cheap multi-layer cell flash memory with a neat new controller – which the company is calling Duraclass – SandForce believes that it has “[addressed] the inherent endurance, reliability, and data retention issues associated with NAND flash memory, making it possible to build SSDs that deliver unprecedented performance over the life of the drive.

Running on a 3Gb/s SATA interface and available in sizes of up to 512GB, the SF-1000 drives have a claimed performance of 30,000 IOPS based on random 4K transfers alongside an impressive 250MB/s based on 128KB sequential reads or writes. SandForce is so certain that the new technologies it has built into the Duraclass controller – which include DuraWrite to increase the endurance factor of the NAND flash memory by eighty times when compared to standard controllers along with neat wear levelling and monitoring algorithms – will keep things ticking along it's guaranteeing a five-year lifespan “without artificial daily usage restrictions or costly over-provisioning techniques.

The SF-1000 range – which includes devices aimed at enterprise use along with units for notebook and netbook systems – is likely to be available in the second quarter of this year.

Do you think that SandForce's smart new controller could switch people back to the far cheaper multi-layer cell technology rather than the popular – but expensive – single-layer cell memory, or are the problems with cheap SSD storage too deeply ingrained to be fixed with some clever wear levelling algorithms? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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