Over the last year and a half we've reviewed countless consumer SSDs with LSI SandForce SATA III controllers. I'll admit it really isn't as exciting as it used to be. The reason why most of us turn our lives upside down is for the thrill of being on the cutting edge. Ten years ago when I started reviewing video cards, everything worked on a six month cycle. Every six months either ATI or NVIDIA would kick out a new flagship video card, the fix was always higher and the supplemental lower end cards were enough to get me through to the next big release.
The consumer SSD market moved at an even faster pace at first. Then SandForce had to go and ruin it all with the SF-2281. SandForce uses FPGAs, think of them like your programmable remote control. When you want to add a new Blu-ray player to your home theater, kind of like a feature, you can easily. When SandForce built their silicon, they overbuilt the controller and planned on adding a bunch of features later on. With FPGAs you don't need to know what's coming next, you just put in the overhead to tackle whatever feature might come next. So, because SandForce built a super FPGA that was able to scale a very large range of NAND flash types, we are still talking about it nearly two years after the launch.
The overhead doesn't just come into play when we talk about future flash types. As we've shown in every generation from SandForce, the features are fine tuned to increase performance. LSI SandForce, even two years after launch, still has the dominate controller on the market thanks to increases in performance from the programming and firmware.
Shenzhen New KingFast Storage Technology Co. Ltd. is a new company we are receiving samples from and since they are new to us, they are most likely new to you as well. Based in Shenzhen China, KingFast has the ability to manufacturer around 50,000 SSDs a month and claims to work with a number of first-tier companies. With that amount of production, we suspect KingFast has been quietly hiding behind the scenes building products for some of the companies we see SSDs from routinely.
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