SandForce's next generation solid state drive controller has been in the works for quite some time. We first caught wind of the SF3700 back in November before it was shown at CES this past January and during Computex last month.

The SF3700 features a nine-channel flash interface with the ability to address up to 2TB of NAND. We were told it would be powering retail drives within the first half of this year but as you can see, that time has come and passed. So, when exactly will the chip show up?

According to a leaked slide obtained by VR-Zone China (via The Tech Report), the chip will finally be ready sometime during the fourth quarter. In the meantime, SandForce will be shipping out completed B0 samples to partners early next week.

The slide also indicates that preliminary benchmarks show a 3-4x improvement over the nearest competitor in mixed workload performance. If true, that'd give the new controller and the drives it'll power a significant advantage over the competition.

New solid state drive technology is certainly needed at this point as we reached the ceiling of what current generation SATA controllers can handle some time ago. By all accounts, PCIe looks to be the future of flash storage technology with the latest Intel motherboards and Windows 8.1 primed for PCIe.

Do you currently use a solid state drive or are you still rocking a traditional spinning hard drive? Let us know in the comments section below.