I have to admit that at first I wasn't really sure why Patriot would release the synchronous flash Pyro SE. At the start of 2011 Patriot announced and then delivered their 32nm Toshiba Toggle NAND drive for the high end, Wildfire. Then in an effort to claim some market share from the upper mainstream segment, Patriot released their Pyro SSD with IMFT asynchronous flash. Patriot's two tier approach kept things nice and tidy at a time when other manufacturers were releasing three product segments, a drive right in the middle with synchronous IMFT flash.
A two tier solution is much easier to manage than a three tier; you cut your R&D as well as product support readiness by a third. Earlier today I started diving into what may happen in 2012 and learned a great deal about Toshiba's roadmap. At that point it became very clear why Patriot needed to bring an IMFT synchronous flash product to market. 32nm Toshiba Toggle Mode Flash is on the way out as 24nm is getting ramped up for a big entry for 2012. As 32nm Toshiba supply starts to dwindle the price is going to go up. With the flooding in Thailand closing several HDD manufacturing plants, the demand for flash is guaranteed to increase as well. SSD makers are starting to win over consumer confidence and the last thing they want to do is raise prices in an economy already wearing a noose.
I can't say I really like the idea of calling the synchronous flash version of Pyro the SE model. This product is quite a bit different in both performance and market segment when compared with the slower original. We've talked at length about the performance benefits of synchronous flash when compared to asynchronous flash while paired with the SandForce SF-2281 controller. The SE really deserves more distinction, but we have to work with what Patriot has come up with.
Let's take a look at the specs and get right to the heart of the matter.