Most of the information that we are telling you about today could have been included in the OCZ Vertex 3 Preview, but we decided to separate the two articles mainly because of this section.
SandForce has many partners who manufacture products based on their controllers. I can only assume that OCZ Technology sold more SandForce based SSDs. I've come to this conclusion based on reading your forum signatures, there is a lot more chatter about OCZ Vertex 2 drives than any other, and if you combine all of the other manufacturers it still comes out to around 2 to 1 in favor of OCZ.
Of the thirty-four companies signed up for the SandForce Driven Program, we review products from twenty-one of them. It looks like I need to step it up.
Looking back at 2010, SandForce worked with many, many more SSD manufacturers than any other controller company. This worked out very well for SandForce since not only did SandForce have their own engineering team working on products, but engineers from all of their partners as well. Intel worked with a handful of companies; Kingston, Buffalo and a couple of smaller manufacturers. Marvell mainly paired with Crucial and half way through the year we learned about the LiteON and ADATA connection, but that development went into products that are just now coming to market.
The biggest news about this slide is the inclusion of Kingston and Seagate. There are rumors of Seagate investing in SandForce and that has floated around for some time now. We SHOULD see a Seagate SSD this year. The Pulsar was available to OEMs in 2010, but in very limited numbers, and we were never able to actually see one in the lab or in the wild.
Kingston joining Team SandForce is massive; maybe even bigger than the news of Seagate. Kingston has successfully launched products based on many SSD controllers and strives for high volume, low cost sales with most of their products. Even the high end Kingston HyperX memory line competes at mainstream memory prices. We'll have to wait and see what Kingston brings to the team and how much they will affect SSD pricing in 2011.