Storage Expert LSI to Buy SandForce SSD Controller Developer

LSI to Acquire SandForce, Forms Flash Components Division

by Anton Shilov
10/27/2011 | 10:14 AM

LSI Corp. on Thursday announced that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire SandForce, a designer of flash storage controllers for enterprise and client flash solutions and solid state drives (SSDs).


SandForce’s products include flash storage controllers at the heart of PCIe flash adapters and SSDs. Flash storage processors provide the intelligence required to deliver the performance and low-latency benefits of flash storage in enterprise and client applications. With technologies like DuraClass, SandForce flash storage controllers improve the reliability, endurance and power efficiency of flash-based storage solutions.

“Flash-based solutions are critical for accelerating application performance in servers, storage and client devices. Adding SandForce’s technology to LSI’s broad storage portfolio is consistent with our mission to accelerate storage and networking. The acquisition represents a significant, rapidly growing market opportunity for LSI over the next several years,” said Abhi Talwalkar, LSI president and chief executive officer.

The acquisition greatly enhances LSI's competitive position in the fast-growing server and storage PCIe flash adapter market, where the WarpDrive family of products from LSI already uses SandForce flash storage processors. The complementary combination of LSI’s custom capability and SandForce’s standard product offering propels LSI into an industry-leading position in the rapidly growing, high-volume flash storage processor market space for ultrabook, notebook and enterprise SSD and flash solutions.

Under the agreement, LSI will pay approximately $322 million in cash, net of cash assumed, and assume approximately $48 million of unvested stock options and restricted shares held by SandForce employees.

 The transaction is expected to close early in the first quarter of 2012 subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Upon closing, the SandForce team will become part of LSI’s newly formed flash components division.

“The combination of SandForce and LSI allows us to deliver differentiated solutions in the PCIe flash adapter segment by tightly integrating flash memory and management. In addition, leveraging our flash storage processors with LSI’s comprehensive IP portfolio and leading-edge silicon design platforms will lead to innovative solutions,” said Michael Raam, SandForce president and CEO.