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Displaying items by tag: LSI

Saturday, 08 June 2013 20:34

Safer and more energy efficient SandForce


LSI has expanded features of SandForce SF-2200 controller line for SSD solutions. The company has also added support for hardware-based data encryption (SED) and reduced controllers power consumption in the standby mode.

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Kingston-logoWith all of the security related news flying around we have received word from Kingston about an issue that affects the encryption feature in their SSDNow V+200 and KC100 lines. The issue is with the level of encryption that the SF-2000 is presenting. According to LSI (Pronounce that SandForce) the SF-2000 should be encrypting your data with 256-bit AES encryption. The problem is that it is not providing that and is instead only hitting 128-Bit AES Encryption.

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LSI_logo-sandjpgRight after the announcement of the SLI/SandForce deal we reached out to a couple of our sources; one at LSI and one inside the Sandforce Sales team. We have already told you about our surprise to hear that people in the DAS (Direct Attached Storage) group had no inkling that the deal was going to happen. One even made the comment that they thought Intel would end up grabbing them. It seemed odd that this would happen with this particular group… at least it did at the time.

We also speculated that LSI might not have talked to the DAS group (even the senior staff) because they would not be part of the new division. That is to say that LSI might end up with their own flash memory drive group. This is not an unbelievable thought as just about any company with access to Flash memory can build SSDs.

Now we have heard back from our contact inside Sandforce and although the reply was the “party line” we think this one does ring true.  The comment was something on the order of this move will help us extend our reach. SFI (SandForce Inc.) has a pretty good reach as it is; they are deep in with OCZ, Kingston, Patriot, Corsair and many others. To say that LSI lets them extend their reach is a great clue to what might be in store in the near future.

We feel that LSI could be very interested in making their own SSDs to compete on the market.  However, we do not think they will be pulling the plug from their partners any time soon either. You see LSI needs flash memory; this means they need to work with companies like Kingston, OCZ and others to get that vital piece of the puzzle. LSI will get the know-how and performance from SFI and SFI will get the bank roll and size of a company like LSI. We also expect to see LSI take its enterprise knowledge and put it to use making enterprise class SSDs. They have great deal of experience working with Seagate to optimize their controllers for the enterprise market and now they have what they need to push SSDs into that coveted space with a solid name behind them.

The next piece of the puzzle would be LSI entering into an agreement with one of the bigger flash memory companies. If this happens it would complete the set and make this scenario even more likely.

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Thursday, 27 October 2011 22:35

LSI buys Sandforce for $322 Million..

LSI_logo-sandjpgLSI, maker of storage adapter cards and other such fun products has bought Sandforce for a whopping $322 Million in cash. We all read about is yesterday with everyone pushing out the press release, but the question is, what does this mean to the market? I asked a contact of mine in the DAS (Direct Attached Storage) performance group and was surprised to hear that they did not know anything about the deal.

This means that this deal is outside the normal company envelope. While we are certain that LSI will be producing SSDs in the future it does make me wonder how this will impact the way their company operates. After all LSI has had a long standing partnership with Seagate and at one point it was rumored that delays in the Pulsar Enterprise class SSDs was due to LSI building their own SSD controller. Now we wonder if there was some truth to that rumor.

So what does the combination of LSI and Sandforce mean to the market? For the short term you can expect the price of SSDs using the Sandforce controller to go up as they have to pay for this deal somehow. Next we are sure that LSI will enter the PCIe SSD market in the next 12 to 18 months. This will probably be followed by an enterprise class SSD to rival the ones that Intel and Seagate are producing.  After that the consumer drives will start hitting and another SSD player is born. It is an interesting thing, not all that long ago someone told me that making HDDs was a hard and demanding task, but anyone with flash memory could make an SSD. Given the number of companies on the market making SSDs we have to agree with them, but then again an SSD is like Pizza; when they are good, they are very good and when they are bad… well they are still pretty good.

We are looking forward to finding out more about what is going on with Sandforce and LSI in the coming months, the deal won’t be final until probably 2H 2012 so there is still the chance that something will pop up. In the meantime we are going to see if we can find out more from both LSI and Sandforce about this.

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