The number of third-party SSD controllers has dwindled in recent years. OCZ bought Indilinx in 2011 and went on to be purchased by Toshiba last year. SK Hynix acquired Link_A_Media Devices in 2012. Then there's SandForce, which was picked up by LSI in 2011 and sold to Seagate last month.
The most recent acquisition has raised questions about how long SandForce controller technology will be available to other drive makers, and some appear to be hedging their bets. DigiTimes is reporting that Micron and SK Hynix are considering investments in JMicron, Phison, and Silicon Motion. Apart from Marvell, which is a much bigger fish, those appear to be the only independent SSD controller makers left.
Micron's lack of in-house controller tech is perhaps the most glaring. The firm is one of the biggest producers of not only flash memory, but also SSDs. For years, its drives have been based on the same off-the-shelf Marvell controller chips accessible to everyone else.
SK Hynix makes its own flash, too, but it isn't as big of a player in the SSD market, and it already has proprietary controller tech from the LAMD acquisition. The unnamed industry sources cited by DigiTimes claim SK Hynix is still considering further controller investments, though. The firm has reportedly been working with Silicon Motion for years.
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