SK Hynix to acquire SSD controller maker LAMD


— 10:57 AM on June 20, 2012

The storage market is no stranger to acquisitions. In the last year or so, Seagate bought Samsung's HDD business, Western Digital picked up Hitachi's equivalent department, LSI acquired SandForce, and OCZ made a successful bid for Indilinx. Now, memory giant SK Hynix has announced that it's set to acquire SSD controller maker Link_A_Media Devices (LAMD).

I know what you're thinking: "Who?" LAMD hasn't been a major player in the consumer SSD market, but it's been designing controllers for more than eight years. At the Computex trade show earlier this month, Corsair revealed a new line of Neutron SSDs based on LAMD's latest LM87800 controller. The drives are purportedly pretty quick, with the top GTX model boasting sequential transfer rates in excess of 500MB/s and the ability to crunch 90,000 IOps with random reads and writes.

Biwin, a little-known SSD maker now selling drives on Newegg, tell us it will be offering drives based on the same controller. Corsair has a timed exclusive for now, though, and the first Neutron drives are expected to hit shelves next month.

When the acquisition is completed, LAMD will become its own business unit within Hynix; it'll be tasked with developing "customized NAND based solutions." Interesting. In addition to fabbing NAND memory, Hynix makes its own solid-state drives. There's no indication of what controller those drives use, but LAMD-based variants probably aren't far off.

There are very few companies in the SSD industry with their own NAND and controller technology. I can think of only Intel and Samsung, so Hynix is joining a rather exclusive club. It will be interesting to see if the acquisition brings LAMD controllers—and Hynix flash memory—to more consumer-grade SSDs. Thanks to Xbit Labs for the tip.

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