SC13, London, UK., November 18, 2013 – LSI Corporation (NASDAQ: LSI) today unveiled the third generation of its market-leading SandForce® flash controller line, the industry’s most widely deployed flash management technology for driving PCIe® and SATA solid state drive (SSD) and flash card solutions. Designed to support power-sensitive client computing applications as well as I/O-intensive enterprise and hyperscale environments, the new LSI® SandForce SF3700 flash controller family provides the increased levels of flash performance, reliability and endurance needed to meet the exacting needs of SSD manufacturers.
The SF3700 family is the industry’s first flash controller that provides the flexibility to support both native PCIe Gen2 x4 and SATA 6Gb/s host interfaces in a single ASIC design. This unique capability greatly simplifies SSD designs and helps to significantly reduce development and manufacturing costs for SSD makers.
With the addition of the SF3700 family’s PCIe interface support, users can achieve breakthrough client performance of over 1.8GB/s sequential reads, a 3x improvement compared to SATA-based solutions.
“From our everyday lives to the hyperscale datacenter, flash storage solutions are transforming the speed and efficiency of data storage,” said Huibert Verhoeven, vice president and general manager, Flash Components Division, LSI. “The SF3700 family brings a new architecture, designed from the ground up to deliver unmatched flash performance and the longevity required to drive current and future portable client computing, enterprise and big data applications.”
“Intel is focused on providing unique offerings optimised for our customers’ specific needs," said Rob Crooke, Intel corporate vice president and general manager for the Intel Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group. "Intel expects accelerated and broader industry adoption of PCIe clients, including those with the new LSI SF3700 PCIe controller family, helping to ensure our customers have the right solution for every application.”
Unique and industry-first LSI SandForce SF3700 features and benefits:
- Native PCIe and SATA Interfaces: 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.
- Optimised DuraWrite™ Data Reduction: 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 optimised DuraWrite data reduction technology helps to maximize SSD endurance by further lowering write amplification and the number of program erase (P/E) cycles.
- SHIELD™ Error Correction: This technology extends flash memory life and significantly improves data integrity by implementing a flash-optimised low-density parity-check (LDPC) code that combines hard-decision, soft-decision and digital signal processing (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.
- Enhanced RAISE™ Technology: 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.
- Dual AES-256 Encryption: 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.
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 customisations, and an extended product life for SSD manufacturers and system OEMs.
The AIS demo will showcase the SF3700 family’s breakthrough client performance of 1.8GB/s sequential reads using Toshiba’s second generation Advanced 19 nanometer (A19nm) NAND flash memory. LSI will also display initial reference designs, which support flash memory vendors Micron, SanDisk and Toshiba. In addition, SandForce flash controller customers ADATA, Avant and Kingston will showcase SF3700-based PCIe and SATA SSD products.
SF3700 flash controllers are currently sampling to select SSD OEM customers. Volume customer shipments are expected in the first half of 2014.
For more information on LSI SandForce flash controllers, visit
Shalley Chen, Executive Vice President, ADATA Technology : “ADATA continues to commit to the LSI SandForce partnership and is supporting early demonstrations of the SF3700 flash controller in both a 2.5” and M.2 solid state drive form factor. We believe the SF3700 family provides a competitive solution in the PCIe arena and we look forward to bringing products to market based on the new controller.”
Paul Goodwin, Chief Technology Officer, Avant Technology : Avant is a leading provider of DRAM memory modules and solid state drives for both the client and enterprise markets and our ongoing relationship with LSI SandForce is fundamental to Avant’s continued success in the space. We’re designing SATA and PCIe SSDs based on the SandForce SF3700 controller family and the new and enhanced features will be critical to meeting the performance, reliability and reduced power requirements of our customers.”
Ariel Perez, SSD Business Manager, Kingston Technology : “We believe the LSI SandForce SF3700 controller family is a game changer that will allow us to further expand Kingston’s SSD portfolio and support the evolving data storage requirements of our customers and partner community. From supporting I/O-intensive big data and virtualisation workloads to power-sensitive client computing applications, the SF3700 family enables us to build robust PCIe and SATA SSD solutions optimised to meet the demands of enterprise and client applications.”
Technology partner quotes:
Paul Petersen, Director of Marketing, NAND Component Division, Micron Technology: Micron is working with LSI to ensure the new SandForce SF3700 family of controllers supports Micron's 128Gb MLC NAND flash memory technology.
These new flash storage solutions will deliver the high performance, superior reliability and endurance needed to address the requirements of enterprise and client computing applications.
Scott Nelson, Senior Vice President, Memory Business Unit, Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. : “LSI SandForce flash controllers are key technology to extending flash reliability and endurance in SSDs as fabrication geometries continue to shrink. Toshiba’s Advanced 19nm (A19nm) NAND is the world’s smallest MLC 64 gigabit NAND flash memory. We’re excited to be working with LSI to enable the first public demonstration of the new SandForce SF3700 controller supporting Toshiba A19nm NAND in a solid state drive.”
Industry analyst quotes:
Greg Wong, Founder and Principal Analyst, Forward Insights : “The industry has been eagerly awaiting the next generation of LSI’s award-winning and widely deployed SandForce flash controllers. The new architecture and enhanced features are designed to meet the challenges of TLC and future NAND technologies. As the successor of the bestselling line of turnkey flash controller solutions, the SF3700 family is expected to be a key enabler for the proliferation of flash in personal computing and datacenter environments.”
Jeff Janukowicz, Research Director, IDC Corporation : “The thriving demand for information is driving enterprise adoption of flash-based solutions to accelerate access to data and boost datacenter efficiencies in a cost-effective manner. Advanced flash controllers like the SandForce SF3700 with its native PCIe interface support will play a key role in optimising flash implementations for the enterprise and overcoming the shorter endurance, lower reliability and higher ECC requirements of evolving NAND flash types.”
Jim Handy, Semiconductor Analyst, Objective Analysis : "The PCIe interface is growing in importance in both PCs and the enterprise. LSI’s new SF3700 flash controller familyis well positioned to tap into that trend, while its upgraded features will be significant in overcoming the challenges of TLC and future NAND types.”
LSI Corporation (NASDAQ: LSI) designs semiconductors and software that accelerate storage and networking in datacenters, mobile networks and client computing. Our technology is the intelligence critical to enhanced application performance, and is applied in solutions created in collaboration with our partners. More information is available at www.lsi.com. Connect with LSI via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
LSI, the LSI & Design logo, Storage.Networking.Accelerated., DuraWrite, RAISE, SandForce and SHIELD are trademarks or registered trademarks of LSI Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
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