SandForce's controllers have fairly broad compatibility with NAND available on the market today. It shouldn't be a surprise that the first demo we saw of Toshiba's 19nm and Intel/Micron's 20nm NAND was at the SandForce/LSI suite in the Grand Hyatt in Taipei.

Even though 19nm/20nm 64Gbit devices aren't very different from their predecessors, they still require custom firmware support for many reasons including dealing with different program times. Intel and Micron have told us that they expect similar endurance from their 20nm NAND as we currently see with their 25nm offerings. 

The demo we saw was a simple Iometer test on both platforms. SandForce built SF-2000 drives using NAND from Intel, Micron and Toshiba. The Intel part number hasn't changed much from the 25nm generation. The table below highlights the differences:

Intel MLC NAND Part Number Comparison
  25nm 64Gbit 20nm 64Gbit
Intel 29F64G08ACME2 29F64G08ACMF3

The last F actually indicates that we're looking at a 20nm part, while the 3 actually refers to generation which seems to have been incremented along with the process node identifier. We should see the first 19nm/20nm based SSDs this year, but keep in mind these aren't dramatically different architecturally from the 24/25nm parts on the market today. 

When we get to 128Gbit 20nm die from IMFT next year we will see some major changes including a faster interface (ONFi 3.x) and larger page sizes (16KB). 

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  • Paul Tarnowski - Friday, June 8, 2012 - link

    I recently picked up a 120GB SATA 6G ADATA for about $100 after MIR (107GB formatted). The drive itself has been far more stable than my last OCZ on my Sandy Bridge system.

    If you can afford spending $100-$150 on a new drive and don't absolutely need more space, wait for a special and go for it.

    If you want to wait for the new drives, don't expect them to drop prices right away. Retailers are not going to bring them in at a lower price point than they think the people interested in buying them are going to pay. We're only now seeing the price drop thanks to the 25/28nm processes. Like before, you're more likely to see the new SSDs in OEM solutions (Windows 8 laptops and tablets specifically, where volume pricing really matters) before having a wide impact on the price of SSDs in the builder/enthusiast market.
  • drumm_22 - Saturday, June 9, 2012 - link

    From the reviews i have read,everyone is always mentioning reliability and stablility of SSD's. Are HDD far more stable and reliable? I want the faster drive for loading large CAD files but also will need the reliability of never loosing those files.
  • Oxford Guy - Saturday, June 9, 2012 - link

    "but also will need the reliability of never loosing those files."

  • CeriseCogburn - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    They're wacko and paranoid, just like they are when it comes to power supplies, always over recommending wattage and build quality - just like they are when it comes to a simple intel ICHR raid zero stripe, rest assured it's almost 100% insano hype.

    Get the SSD, and yes, get the sata 6, not some crappy sata 2 save me a penny model.

    The whole internet went absolutely wacko about SSD's for a few years, then finally even Anand had enough of it and pointed out you need 100 years to croak out the ram with regular home use.

    This is what the "experts" all around us on the internet do - it's all hyper sensationalism, and plenty of fibs and lies.
  • phillyry - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - link

    SSD drives should outlast hard drives however they're still relatively new tech and, as such, there have been some issues with the controllers over the past few years - leading to reliability issues.

    As Anand has stated, certain SSDs, or more correctly, certain SSD manufacturers have been more reliable than others. Particularly, Intel and Samsung have been reliable in the consumer market and Samsung and Toshiba have been reliable and OEM market. The SandForce drivers have been noted to cause controller issues and require firmware updates. OCZ has been known for rushing their product to market without adequate validation; apparently for the purpose of always having the fastest drive on the market.

    With all that in mind, all hard drives and solid-state drives prone to failure, particularly when they are your OS drive, and all data should be backed up regularly.

    Any SSD will load things ridiculously faster than a hard drive, so just go with the most reliable SSD and a good storage backup plan.
  • phillyry - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - link


    I don't think you'll want to wait around for the new 20 nm NAND to arrive.

    First off, these things take time.

    Secondly, you want the product to have been on the market for a few months before it can be considered reliable.

    So, you'd be better off buying one of the technologies that's already been tested like an Intel 520 or Samsung 830 than waiting for the companies develop these new NANDs.

    Also, as LordConrad alluded to, smaller nodes generally have less ability to hold a charge over time and therefore wear out over fewer program recycles.

    Now, I'm sure that Intel would have some way to compensate for this in the controller or via over provisioning but the NAND itself would still only be being used because it's less expensive (more NAND per silicone wafer) not because it's higher tech. It could also help lead to more affordable NAND, on a per gigabyte basis, as all the other nanometer architecture changes have. This is also why consumer level SSDs use MLC NAND as opposed to SLC, as enterprise SSDs do. Similarly, it offers less drive-longevity and performance but at a cheaper price.

    I hope this helps.
  • phillyry - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - link

    *program/erase cycles (not recycles). Stinkin' voice dictation! ;)
  • meloz - Sunday, June 10, 2012 - link

    > but also will need the reliability of never loosing those files.

    The only way to assure that kind of reliability is to backup early, backup often, backup at different places and on idfferent media. And oh, test those backups to ensure they actually restore.

    SSD reliability depends on which manufacturer and product line you buy into. Intel drives are excellent (but pricey), OCZ is at the other extreme.
  • ssj3gohan - Sunday, June 10, 2012 - link

    I haven't seen a SF-2xxx with USB option before. Is this new?
  • Thohean - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - link

    Might be new for Sandforce, but my G.Skill rebranded samsung drive has usb. I've been surprised more drive makers haven't included USB, as it's been great to have on my samsung.

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