Paul and I are packing and in two days we'll show more than just pictures of the new LSI SandForce SF3700. The new controller series is nine channels and supports both SATA III and PCI Express. On the latter, the SF3700 can read up to 1800 MB/s if your PCIe 2.0 bus is up to the task. Using four lanes, 1800 is a good starting point but we're more interested in overclocking our enthusiast motherboards to get more and we hear the new controller can handle a bit of a bump to get past the 1800 MB/s hump. Who's ready for SSD overclocking? Can I get a NGFF water block with my order?
The new SF3700 controller's design is for both consumer and enterprise products much like SF-1000 and SF-2000. Early on, we expect to see enterprise products demoed first but in the end, consumer drives may hit the market first due to the long validation period for enterprise products.
One controller to rule them all, the new SF3700 is a modular design with registers for features that manufactures can enable or disable. The modular design is also the basis for future products. If a few front-end interface is required, LSI can simply design a new interface and mate it to the core architecture. This reduces time to market for next generation products.
The SSD market has been quiet for the last year other than a few NGFF announcements. SATA III, the brick wall standard for SSDs today has hampered performance. LSI's new SF3700 controller removes the bottleneck and opens the door for current and future flash to deliver higher performance.