The LSI WarpDrive has a low profile to fit in just about any rack or enclosure. From this angle, visible are three of the six SandForce SF-1564 controllers along with a portion of the NAND and the large heat sink that sits one edge of the card.
On the back is a cluster of components, one of which is the Simtek 32kx8 nvSRAM cleverly hidden under a WarpDrive sticker near the center of the card.
Part of the reason the WarpDrive is so expensive is the hardware it carries in addition to the SandForce controllers. One of the most important parts comes from LSI’s own SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) technology. The SAS2008 RAID controller can support up to eight 6Gbps SAS/SATA ports and is integrated with a 8X PCI Express interface. Fueling it is a Power PC 440 chip with a 533Mhz clock with non-volatile SRAM for integrated mirroring to protect against data loss.
Removing a few screws allowed us to lift up the stacked PCB to reveal the remaining controllers and NAND chips along with the 32MB Spansion flash chip holding the firmware.
The Micron SLC NAND flash chips resides eight per PCB section for a total of 64GB. With six of these sections, there’s a total of 384GB on board although 84GB of that is reserved for drive maintenance.
Finally, we come to the SandForce SF-1500 controllers which powers the RAID 0 array with six total on board. These carry the same DuraClass technology features as their little brother SF-1200 controllers although they are more suited for enterprise class applications with a super cap to mitigate data loss during power interruptions – hence their heftier price tag.