SandForce Debuts SF-2000 SSD Processor Family

We recently had a conversation with representatives from SandForce, the designers of the controllers used in many of today’s popular solid state drives like the OCZ Vertex 2, about their next-generation SSD processor family. The new SF-2000 SSD processor family builds upon the success of the current SF-1500 / SF-1200 series by adding 6Gb/s SATA III interface support, integrating a more powerful encryption engine, and adding support for new flash memory types. In addition, the SandForce SF-2000 SSD processor family will offer SAS-bridge support for non-512 byte sectors, enhanced ECC and BCH capabilities, and it features new Power / Performance throttling technology for “green” computing environments. All of the features culminate in a new controller that’s capable of 500MB/s sequential reads and writes, with roughly 60,000 random 4K IOPS.

SandForce isn’t announcing actual products based on the new controllers just yet, but we’re told we can expect drives from many of their current partners. With this line of SSD processors, SandForce will first be introducing products into enterprise space, but new products will eventually trickle down into the consumer space as well.

We’ve got the full press release from SandForce posted below, along with some additional slideware. Taking into consideration the features and performance of their current hardware, we’re eager to get our hands on next-gen solid state drives based on the new SF-2000 series controllers when they become available. If they live up to the specifications listed here, next-gen SandForce-based SSDs should be a huge step forward in terms of performance, reliability, and security.


SandForce Debuts SF-2000 SSD Processor Family

Live 6Gb/s SATA SSD Product Demonstrations at Storage Networking World Using Advanced 30nm class Flash with High-Speed ONFi2 and Toggle Interfaces

SARATOGA, CA. – October 7, 2010 – SandForce Inc., the pioneer of SSD (Solid State Drive) Processors that enable standard NAND Flash deployment in enterprise, client, and industrial computing applications, today announced the availability of the SF-2000 Family of SSD Processors optimized for SSDs deployed in mission-critical Enterprise and Industrial computing applications. These chips feature a 6 Gigabit-per-second SATA host interface, industry applauded DuraClass Technology, an unprecedented 60,000 sustained random read/write IOPS (Input-output Operations Per Second) and sustained sequential read/write performance of 500 Megabytes per second. In addition to state-of-the-art performance, reliability, security, and Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS) connectivity enhancements, the SF-2000 family supports single-level, multi-level, and enterprise multi-level cell (SLC, MLC, & eMLC) NAND Flash families from Hynix, Intel, Micron, Samsung, and Toshiba with its high-speed ONFi2 and Toggle Flash interface.

"The market for SSDs is poised to experience rapid growth over the next few years,” said Jeff Janukowicz, research manager for Solid State Drives at IDC. “Solutions, such as the SandForce SF-2000 Family of SSD Processors, that enable increased performance and higher reliability in a flexible design will enable SSD vendors to meet the demands of this fast paced market."

The SF-2000 SSD Processor Family addresses the needs of Enterprise and Industrial storage markets with configurations and firmware optimized for each segment. These devices preserve the advantageous SandForce ”DRAM-less” architecture (no DRAM components required) which is optimal for dense and custom tiny-form factor native SATA SSDs, in addition to SAS- and PCI Express-based SSDs when integrated with industry-leading RAID and Host-Bus Adapter chips on one card.

Additionally, SF-2000 SSD Processors feature:

  • Support for advanced 30nm- and 20nm-class Flash with Asynch/ONFi2/Toggle interfaces with data rates up to 166 Mega Transfers per second
  • Enhanced dual-ported SAS bridge support, including non-512-byte sector sizes, e.g., 520, 524, 528, 4K, etc., with Data Integrity Field (DIF) for true Enterprise-class SAS drive behavior and performance
  • TCG Enterprise security with selectable multi-banded 256/128-bit AES encryption with line-rate double encryption for data written to the drive
  • Advanced ECC engine correcting up to 55 bits per 512-byte sector to assure high data integrity and support for future generations of Flash memory
  • Power and performance throttling options to support green computing initiatives
  • Industrial temperature support (-40 to +85 degrees Celsius)

“Eighteen months ago, SandForce transformed the data storage industry by being the first company to demonstrate ground-breaking SSD Processor technology that enables MLC flash to be used reliably in enterprise-class SSD applications with world-class performance,” said Michael Raam, President and CEO for SandForce. “We are building on the success of our first generation product now in production with multiple Enterprise OEMs by introducing the SF-2000 family that offers significant feature and performance enhancements for our rapidly expanding customer base of trusted SandForce Driven Enterprise and Industrial SSD manufacturers.”

Live SF-2000 Product Demonstrations At Storage Networking World
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.