Playing Both Sides
Above we see the official specs for the Corsair P3 256GB drive based on the Marvell controller. Corsair didn't say too much about SandForce in our meeting, but I don't look for them to walk away from that partnership. I don't look for others to walk away from SandForce either, but with so many new partners bringing drives based on Marvell controllers, that means we will see a fair number of companies playing both sides.
One company that we are going to pay very close attention to is Patriot. Patriot has a new SATA 6G drive called Wildfire, but the company has yet to determine if it will use a SandForce or Marvell controller. In all honesty, I look for many companies to come out with both a SATA 6G Marvell consumer and then when ready, a consumer SandForce SATA 6G drive.
What that will mean for the consumer is more competition in the market, so prices should drop rapidly and bundles / accessory packages increase in size. If you thought your choices were numerous in 2010, just wait for 2011 when we see nearly 2x the available SKU numbers for SSDs.
Then there are the SSD newcomers. Companies like Zalman just dipped their toe in the SSD waters at the end of 2010, but many more are eyeing a possible entry to the market. Antec thought about it, but didn't pull the trigger; the option is still on the table, though. SSDs are hot, hot, hot right now. Just look at what OCZ Technology is doing, they have all but gotten rid of their memory business and now fancy themselves as a diverse company led by SSD sales.