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Monday, November 18, 2013
LSI SandForce SF3700 Flash Controller Promises Higher Levels of SSD Performance


LSI today unveiled the third generation of its SandForce flash controller line, the widely deployed flash management technology for driving PCIe and SATA solid state drive (SSD) and flash card solutions.

The new LSI SandForce SF3700 flash controller family promises to provide increased levels of flash performance, reliability and endurance.

The SF3700 family is the first flash controller that provides the flexibility to support both native PCIe Gen2 x4 and SATA 6Gb/s host interfaces in a single ASIC design. This capability simplifies SSD designs. With the addition of the SF3700 family's PCIe interface support, users can achieve client performance of over 1.8GB/s sequential reads, a 3x improvement compared to SATA-based solutions.



LSI SandForce SF3700 features include:

- Native PCIe and SATA Interfaces: M.2 form factor cards designed with the SF3700 flash controller?s dual PCIe and SATA interface can use a simple manufacturing jumper to select the final desired interface for better inventory and cost management. The SF3700 family's PCIe interface supports AHCI and NVMe protocols to enable both legacy applications of PCIe flash and NVMe flash storage application acceleration solutions.

- Optimized DuraWrite Data Reduction: Data reduction technology combines several techniques to extend NAND flash memory life as flash geometries shrink and trend toward lower reliability.

- SHIELD Error Correction: This technology extends flash memory life and improves data integrity by implementing a flash-optimized low-density parity-check (LDPC) code that combines hard-decision, soft-decision and digital signal processing (DSP) together with adaptive error correction code rates. This enables SSD manufacturers to deliver enterprise-class product life and data integrity, even when using less expensive flash memory.

- Enhanced RAISE Technology: Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements (RAISE) technology, which is similar to RAID, delivers data protection specifically designed for SSDs by protecting against page, block and full die failures in a single drive environment. The SF3700 family's ninth channel for an extra flash package enables more RAISE protection and user capacity options.

- Dual AES-256 Encryption: The SF3700 family enterprise controllers feature dual AES-256 drive-level encryption to secure data without incurring additional host processor load. In addition, they can support TCG Opal and Enterprise specifications.

SF3700 family controllers provide up to 2TB maximum capacity and a 9-channel ONFI-3/Toggle-2 flash interface. Their modular architecture enables fast migration to new host interfaces and media types, allowing for significant firmware reuse between new products.

LSI is demonstrating the new SF3700 family controllers this week at the SC13 conference in Denver, Colo., and at LSI?s Accelerating Innovation Summit (AIS) taking place in San Jose, Calif.

The AIS demo will showcase the SF3700 family?s client performance of 1.8GB/s sequential reads using Toshiba's second generation 19 nanometer (A19nm) NAND flash memory. LSI will also display initial reference designs, which support flash memory vendors Micron, SanDisk and Toshiba. In addition, SandForce flash controller customers ADATA, Avant and Kingston will showcase SF3700-based PCIe and SATA SSD products.

SF3700 flash controllers are currently sampling to LSI's SSD OEM customers. Volume customer shipments are expected in the first half of 2014.




SF3700 Flash Controller Family
SF3719
SF3729
SF3739
SF3759
Applications Entry Client Mainstream Client Enthusiast Client
Value Enterprise
Enterprise Caching Enterprise Storage
DuraClass Technology
  • DuraWrite data reduction
  • Enhanced RAISE data protection
  • SHIELD error correction
  • Intelligent block management and wear leveling
  • Intelligent read disturb management
  • Intelligent garbage collection
  • Intelligent data retention optimization
    Power/performance balancing
  • Thermal threshold management
Architecture SF3000
Host Interface

SATA 6 Gb/s

PCIe Gen2 x2 (AHCI and NVMe )

SATA 6 Gb/s

PCIe Gen2 x2/x4 (AHCI and NVMe)

Flash Memory Support

MLC

9 channels up to 400MT/s

ONFI 2/3, Toggle 1/2

MLC, TLC

9 channels up to 400MT/s

ONFI 2/3, Toggle 1/2

SLC, eMLC, MLC, TLC,

9 channels up to 400MT/s

ONFI 2/3, Toggle 1/2

Max Capacity Supported 128 GB 2TB 2TB 2TB
Sector size support

Dual AES-256 encryption

TCG Opal v2.0, IEEE-1667, Windows eDrive (Optional)

TCG Enterprise (Optional only with SF3759)

Reliability
SHIELD Error Correction, Full end-to-end CRC protection
Data protection RAISE 1 + Fractional RAISE

RAISE 1 + Fractional RAISE

RAISE 2

RAISE 1 + Fractional

RAISE

RAISE 2 + Auto-Reallocation

Power fail protection FW + partial FW + partial + full
Package 624-ball FCBGA - 17 x 17 mm, 0.65 mm pitch
Compliance RoHS, Halogen-Free, Green




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