At Computex we saw the emergence of two new SSD controller makers, Novachips and Link-A-Media. In July we wrote an exclusive preview test of the Biwin NuvoDrive NX, the first drive to use the Novachips 'Bugatti' NVS3600A. Today, we finally get to unwrap the Link_A_Media Devices (LAMD) 'Amber' LM87800 SSD controller. Things are a little different this time around, though. Link-A-Media is ready to go retail with their first partner, Corsair. As you read this, the new Corsair Neutron and Neutron GTX are headed to retail shelves and e-tailer warehouses for distribution to the channel.
You might be under the impression this is LAMD's first SSD controller, but it isn't. Last year we played a little trial and error with the Seagate Pulsar 2. Under the hood was a LAMD LM88301AA controller. Given the market Pulsar 2 plays in, high-end enterprise, and the cost, more than any of us are going to spend on an SSD, I'd say that LAMD has established themselves in the SSD business long before the new Amber controller existed. Certainly quite a bit of knowledge from Pulsar 2 aided in LAMD's new client side products.
It's no surprise that Corsair is the first to market with an LAMD controller. In years past we've seen Corsair partner with Samsung, Marvell, SandForce and a few other controller makers. Their diversity over time has led to a diverse stable of products in the SSD portfolio. Last month Corsair released the Force GS, the next evolution to the Force Series and sitting with the established Force GT and Force 3 products. Corsair also has the Nova, a SATA II SSD that offers SATA II performance at a low price. The Performance Pro uses a Marvell controller and competes with the Force line up as well.
Corsair tends to play in the higher end of the market and that is right where the new Neutron and Neutron GTX plan on playing.