So, its starting to get a bit confusing how many times SandForce has changed hands by this point, but the short of it is that they were bought by LSI in 2011 to beef up the company’s flash business, and then LSI as a whole was purchased by Avago last year which included the SandForce division. And now, Avago, a company mostly known for their components (not necessarily entire products) has sold the solid state flash business of LSI to Seagate to the tune of $450 million. This includes both LSI’s own line of PCIe based SSDs as well as their SSD controller business which produces SandForce SSD controllers.
The Cupertino based company, Seagate, is buying this division from the Singaporean based company, Avago, in order to beef up their solid state offerings which have admittedly taken some time to develop when compared to their competitors like Toshiba, Intel, Samsung and SanDisk. This continues to industry’s consolidation of solid state storage companies as now LSI no longer does solid state storage which means Avago no longer does either. And by selling it to a company that already technically has their own SSD technology they’ve effectively consolidated the industry into one fewer company. Even though, for consumers, this is probably not the best thing because when there are more companies there is more competition. However, some of these companies struggled to develop their own controllers that would really enable them to capture some market share.
What will be interesting to see if how the different titans of solid state will perform now that we’ve got 5 major competitors all with their own technology. Additionally, it will be interesting to see how some of Seagate’s competitors, who use SandForce controllers will react to today’s news. And even more importantly, what Western Digital will do as a response. After all, Seagate and Western Digital are both in a virtually never ending race to prove who is the biggest hard drive manufacturer in the world with their essential duopoly.