Analyst: LSI Logic back in the SSD driver’s seat

August 27, 2007 – Concerns about LSI Logic’s strategy in the NAND flash memory segment are “no longer warranted,” according to an industry analyst, who says the company is showing better end-market fundamentals and a clearer direction in NAND, including how to address several implementation hurdles for solid-state storage devices (SSD).

NAND may not dominate enterprise storage in the near future, but it is still “a key element of the memory stack” to help improve latency and optimize system costs, noted analyst Doug Freedman of American Technology Research. “LSI is not missing the NAND opportunity and has personnel in place to develop an architecture,” he wrote, adding that the company is working with SSD manufacturers to qualify products that could drive design wins and sales in 2008. “We do not think it is a far reach to assume LSI will be a leader in the SSD market,” he said.

LSI may be positioned to play a “critical” role in developing a multimemory system architecture for optimizing the storage stack in enterprise and notebooks, with NAND (for power), DRAM (speed), and hard disk drives (density), Freedman noted. He also wrote that LSI is likely working on an in-house controller for SSDs suited for enterprise applications, as is Marvell, and the two are the frontrunners to address a hybrid system and SSD standalone system. LSI needs to develop new sales relationships with NAND OEMs (e.g. SanDisk) to widen its market, but it is already working with “a handful of SSD manufacturers already, and is not too late to play in the early adoption phase of SSDs in enterprise,” Freedman wrote.


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