After our conversation with Seagate, we really didn't expect to uncover this information until our upcoming briefing in August during the Flash Memory Summit. You can imagine our surprise when the data fell right into our laps from a close source outside of Seagate.
The upcoming 4-channel SF3500 is the client version of Seagate's upcoming SandForce SF3000 series. The SF3700 controller is firmly at the top of the series and will ship in enterprise products with several additional features designed for enterprise environments. Meanwhile, the upcoming SF3500 will play a large role in the client SSD arena when released. Since their arrival, SandForce controllers have steered the market until slowly fading into the background as the company ping-ponged between LSI and Avago, before finally finding a home at Seagate.
|Applications||Mainstream SATA Client||Entry PCIe Client||Enthusiast SATA / PCIe Client|
|Host Interface||SATA 6 Gb/s||PCIe 2.0 x2 (NVMe)||PCIe 2.0 x2 (NVMe)SATA 6 Gb/s|
|Max Capacity Supported||1TB||1TB||1TB|
|Controller Clock Frequency||275 MHz||275 MHz||300 MHz|
|Sequential Read||Up to 550 MB/s||Up to 900 MB/s||Up to 900 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||Up to 450 MB/s||Up to 525 MB/s||Up to 525 MB/s|
|Random Read||Up to 100,000 IOPS||Up to 130,000 IOPS||Up to 130,000 IOPS|
|Random Write||Up to 80,000 IOPS||Up to 90,000 IOPS||Up to 90,000 IOPS|
|Random 70% Read Mix||Up to 80,000 IOPS||Up to 120,000 IOPS||Up to 120,000 IOPS|
|Flash Memory Support||MLC, TLC, 3D from top flash memory manufacturers4-channels up to 400 MT/s1x nm, 1y nm, 1z nm, ONFi 2.0/3.0, Toggle 1.0/2.0|
|Sector Size Support||512b||4KB||4KB (PCIe NVMe)512b (SATA)|
|Security||Dual AES-256 EncryptionTCG Opal 2.0IEEE-1667Windows eDrive|
|Reliability||Shield Error CorrectionFull end-to-end CRC Protection|
|Data Protection||RAISE 1 +Fractional RAISE|
|Package||401-ball FCBGA 11x18 mm|
The Seagate SF3000 has been plagued with setbacks due to brain drain and acquisitions, but with specifications in hand, we expect developments to come quickly as third-party controller-less companies push to release products. The SF3500 client drive misses the PCIe 3.0 x4 mark, and appears to lack the same in-your-face power as Samsung's SM951 in 4-corner performance. But lying just beneath the surface is where SandForce products perform really well. Mixed workload performance is real workload performance, and even to this day, the previous generation SF2000 line is competitive with other SATA products.
It will be very interesting to test SF3500 under real world conditions, and for some, it may just be an eye opener.