SandForce SF-2000 Series Breakdown
SandForce's family is growing and under the SF-2000 umbrella are no less than seven new controllers. There is quite a bit of information here, but we will try to cover it all.
First up is the SF-2100 that consists of two part numbers; SF-2141 and SF-2181. The 2141 is a 4 channel controller (half that of the current SF-1200). This is a perfect part to use the new 25nm flash, but the controller appears to be limited to just 64GB of capacity. The SF-2181 uses an 8 channel controller like the SF-1200 and looks to be a direct replacement to the previous generation consumer drive, while at the same time increasing IOPS performance.
The enthusiast class SF-2200 also comes in two configurations. The first is the SF-2281 with 8 channels and 8 byte lanes that can scale up to 512GB capacity, but only when 8GB flash is used. The 2281 also retains the 256 ball grid array package which is cheaper to build PCBs for when compared to the 400 BGA package found on the SF-2282. The SF-2281 will have a much higher adaption than the 2282 due to manufacturing costs.
The SF-2282 will mainly be used on those massive 512GB (480GB) capacity drives. SandForce kept the 8 channels on the 2282, but changed the byte lanes to 16.
When it comes to IOPS performance, the new SF-2200 class doubles the previous SF-1200 SSD in both reads and writes. The SF-2100 doubles the previous generations read IOPS performance, but matches the 1200 after the initial burst speed.
Most enthusiasts and mainstream users don't even password their systems, but our business readers will like to know about the new AES-256 security measures that have been added to the SF-2000 Series controllers. The SF-1200 had 128-bit security built in on the back end, but the new series puts AES-256 bit at the front just after the data gets to the drive.
SandForce was able to implement the new security measures without disrupting data flow. We tested the Vertex 3 and Vertex 2 looking at read and write access time and both drives produced identical numbers. Instead of removing the 128-bit that was perfected in the SF-1000, SandForce adapted a dual encryption with both 256 + 128.