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PMC-Sierra - acquired by Microsemi

PMC (Nasdaq:PMCS) is the semiconductor and software solutions innovator transforming networks that connect, move and store big data. Building on a track record of technology leadership, the company is driving innovation across storage, optical and mobile networks. PMC's highly integrated solutions increase performance and enable next-generation services to accelerate the network transformation. For more information, visit www.pmcs.com.

See also:- PMC - editor mentions on StorageSearch.com,
PMC's NVMe controller page, PMC's blog

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Who's who in SSD? - PMC-Sierra

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor - May 2014

PMC has now become a significant influence in the enterprise SSD controller and interface IP market.

PMC is active in these SSD market segments:-
  • SAS SSDs (as a SAS controller supplier)
PMC - which a decade ago in these pages was well known as a RAID controller and storage adapter IP company - has now become a significant influence in the enterprise SSD market by a series of acquisitions.

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PMC-Sierra - selected mentions from SSD market history

In May 2010 - PMC-Sierra entered the SSD market by announcing a definitive agreement to acquire Adaptec's channel storage business for approximately $34 million in cash. This deal included Adaptec's RAID storage product line, its global VAR customer base, board logistics capabilities, and (most significantly) SSD cache performance solutions.

In May 2013 - PMC-Sierra announced a definitive agreement to acquire IDT's enterprise flash controller business and certain PCIe switch assets for $100 million.

In December 2014 - PMC-Sierra announced that Memblaze was using PMC's Flashtec NVMe controllers in its next-generation PBlaze4 PCIe SSD accelerators.

In January 2016 - Microsemi completed the acquisition of PMC-Sierra for $2.5 billion.
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From 2007 to 2014 - the dominant focus and center of SSD accelerator gravity was PCIe SSDs.

It was the rapid domino-effect adoption of 3rd party PCIe SSD accelerators by every mainstream server manufacturer - which changed the way that SSDs were perceived from being an alienlike technology promoted by industry outsiders to being a necessary option which was expected to be supported inside every new server product line.

But the next chapter of the fast SSD accelerator story looks more like a DIMM.
DIMM wars in SSD servers - Memory1 - episode 1
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PMC blog discusses latency implications of DSP ECC IP in SSD controllers
Editor:- May 15, 2014 - Latency in LDPC-based Next-Generation SSD Controllers is a new blog by Stephen Bates, Technical Director, PMC who says - "The variability of the LDPC decode time is a function of how many iterations it takes to decode the data from the flash."

In his article Stephen says that the minimum number of iterations is 1, typical is 4 and maximum is 20.

To relate that to latency - he says assume for sake of illustration that each iteration takes a microsecond.
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PMC-Sierra is acquired for $2.5 billion
PMC was was the object of several different acquisition announcements in October and November 2015.

In October 2015 - an RF chips company called Skyworks agreed to acquire PMC for $2 billion. But that deal didn't go ahead because within a few weeks it soon became clear that PMC was worth more than that - and more than Skyworks was willing to pay.

Instead - in November 2015 PMC-Sierra agreed to be acquired by Microsemi (a military SSD and electronics company) for $2.5 billion.

The deal with Microsemi completed in January 2016.
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"... the transition from SATA SSDs to NVMe SSDs seems to be accelerating. People seem to be getting the message that NVMe is designed, from the ground up, to work with non-volatile memory and is a much better protocol for SSDs than SATA."
Stephen Bates, Technical Director, PMC - in his recent blog re PMC's Flashtec, Memblaze PBlaze 4 and NVMe SSDs
PMC blog NVMe CPU offload compared to SATA
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Adaptive flash care management & DSP IP in flash SSD controllers and firmware.
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PMC enters NVMe controller market
Editor:- May 29, 2013 - PMC today announced a definitive agreement to acquire IDT's enterprise flash controller business and certain PCIe switch assets for $100 million.

IDT shipped the worlds first NVM Express (NVMe) flash controller. PMC believes that it will be able to improve its time-to-market in the PCIe SSD market by approximately 2 years due to the early product leadership and a robust design win pipeline.

Greg Lang, President and CEO of PMC said - IDTs PCIe controllers are particularly well suited for server-based SSDs targeted at cloud data center customers. The acquisition of IDTs Enterprise Flash Controller Business is a strong complement to our current enterprise 12Gb/s SAS SSD controller product offering.