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LSI acquisition of Sand Force is good for OCZ

by on02 November 2011

Won’t change the partnership

Back in September, we wrote that Intel, Micron and a few other players were eyeing Sand Force, the company that makes the fastest SSD controllers around.

At the end LSI has picked them up, which is probably much better for the industry considering that Intel, Micron, SanDisk, Seagate or Western Digital were potentially interested.

If one of these big boys had picked up Sand Force, a possible scenario was to push out Sand Force partners and use the technology only for their own drives. LSI will let the other players have it and OCZ Technologies told us this in a brief talk we had with some of the managers.

OCZ will continue to bring drives with Sand Force controller for current and future products.  Enthusiasts can be relieved, there will see be Sand Force in many flavours and we can also add that notebooks SSD drives seem to be the next big thing. Not only do they run much faster than models with mechanical hard drives, but they have the upper hand in power efficiency and SSD’s allow designers to come up with lighter, thinner devices, i.e. ultrabooks.

This speed, of course, comes with a saucy price tag and limited capacity, but €135 for 120GB SSD that can read 525MB and write up to 500MB sounds like a decent deal. Of course, most of you will need more than that, but there are a lot of cheap external USB 3 devices that can store much more, once you get home.

To put things in perspective, let’s not forget that OCZ recently acquired Indilinx for roughly 10 times less money than $370 million that LSI spent for Sand Force. LSI paid $322 million cash and another $48 million in unvested stock options and restricted shares held by SandForce employees for a total cost of roughly $370 million USD. On the other hand, OCZ paid $32 million for Indilinx in new shares.

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