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Print 25 comment(s) - last by MrPoletski.. on Nov 13 at 4:19 AM

Something higher than the Vertex coming soon

OCZ has grown to become one of the biggest suppliers of Solid State Drives, especially to enthusiasts and consumers. A large part of that success can be attributed to their close partnership with SSD NAND flash controller company Indilinx. The specialized design company is responsible for the Barefoot controller used in most of OCZ’s SSD products. OCZ is by far Indilinx’s largest customer, and the only Tier 1 customer besides Super Talent.

As good as the Barefoot controller is, it is still a pricey product. Many other companies have tried to make SSD controllers with varying degrees of success. SandForce is a name that has been whispered to us many several SSD companies, and OCZ is now announcing that it will partner with them for a new range of SSD products. Samsung controllers haven’t been performing up to par, so a second SSD controller partner will help reduce OCZ’s supplier dependence and hopefully spur some much needed price and performance competition.

“OCZ is committed to delivering SSD solutions to our enterprise clients and also has a strong following for our consumer solid state products; partnering with SandForce enables us to offer an even more robust offering to both these markets,” said Ryan Petersen, CEO of the OCZ Technology Group. “Together with SandForce we are focused on making enterprise-class MLC-based SSDs which offer excellent reliability and performance coupled with superior total cost of ownership for all our customers.”

SandForce is a fabless semiconductor company founded at the end of 2006. Although it is a young company, it has already filed more than twenty patents. Its leadership is comprised of industry veterans, and the company is very well funded thanks to investments from several storage OEMs.

The company has been preparing two SSD controllers for the market over the last few months. The SF-1200 will be targeted at enthusiast and low-cost enterprise SSDs and will be able support up to 512GB capacities. Sequential read and write speeds can reach 260 MB/s through a 3Gb/s SATA interface. The SF-1200 is designed to utilize commodity Multi-Level Cell NAND flash in order to lower costs.

The SF-1500 is targeted at high-end enterprise and workstation applications. Speed and maximum capacity is the same as the SF-1200, but the SF-1500 can also support Single-Level Cell flash for a higher number of write-erase cycles. It also boasts an Unrecoverable Read Error rate of less that 1 per 10^17, much higher than the typical 10^15 rate found in traditional magnetic storage-based enterprise hard disk drives.

“OCZ has a proven track record in the design and manufacture of solid state drives and is in a distinctive position to deliver SSDs to both the enterprise and consumer space,” said Thad Omura, VP of Marketing at SandForce. “SandForce SSD Processors reliably enable the usage of low cost, MLC-based SSDs in volume, mainstream enterprise applications.”

A prototype SSD using a SandForce controller was shown earlier this year working with 34nm NAND flash from Micron. Intel sources the same flash chips for its SSDs though IM Flash Tech, its joint partnership with Micron. The low cost and high performance of those flash chips have helped Intel take SSD sales away from OCZ.

OCZ is planning to partner with SandForce for the long term. SandForce has stated that they have a multi-generational roadmap, and is expected to release details on a next-generation controller chip next year supporting 6 Gb/s transfers though a SATA interface.

OCZ has promised more information on performance, pricing, and availability in the weeks leading up to the Consumer Electronics Show.



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RE: Competition
By kmmatney on 11/11/2009 7:24:46 PM , Rating: 2
My bad - I guess NewEgg did have the 40GB Kingstons on sale, but they sold out really fast..

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...

The current price is $104, but I heard they were actually selling (and sold out) for $130.


RE: Competition
By Reclaimer77 on 11/12/2009 2:43:06 AM , Rating: 2
I would strongly recommend against the Kingstons. They might be "OK" for a notebook. But the small size and half the data channels as the Intel's will really hamper it's desktop performance.


"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser














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