OCZ Technology Teams with SandForce for Next-Gen Solid-State Drives

OCZ Technology adds another SandForce-based SSD to its lineup for the enterprise and industrial market, boasting SATA III and support for multiple-flash memory types.

OCZ Technology will partner with SandForce on a new solid state drive based on Serial ATA III and NAND flash components, OCZ Technology Group said Oct. 7.

The sample drives will be available to clients by the end of the year. Production is expected to begin early next year, according to the announcement.

The new drives will be part of the OCZ Deneva product line, and will use SandForce's second-generation SF-2500 and SF-2600 SSD processors, OCZ said.

"Together we will be able to offer our enterprise clients a very robust line of ultra-reliable 6Gb/s SSDs in a variety of interfaces ranging from SATA to SAS within our customizable Deneva Series," said Alex Mei, chief marketing officer at OCZ Technology in a statement.

Based on SandForce's SF-1500 and SF-1200 series, the new SF-2000 SSD processor family has 6G-bps SATA III interface support, a more powerful encryption engine, and support for more flash memory types. The SandForce SF-2000 SSD processors also offer SAS-bridge support for non-512 byte sectors, enhanced error-correcting code (ECC) and BCH capabilities, and new power/performance throttling technology for "green" environments, SandForce said.

Performance for the SF-2500/2600-based drives will depend on the interface, with speeds as high as 500MB per second transfer rates and 60,000 random 4KB write I/O operations per second (IOPS), OCZ said.

SandForce unveiled these processors on Oct. 7 as well.

The new OCZ Deneva solid state drives will support various interfaces, including SATA 6Gbps, SAS, PCIe and OCZ's proprietary high-speed data link that eliminates I/O bottlenecks. The drives will use one of the supported NAND flash memory components, whether that's a 3X-2Xnm single-level cell (SLC), multi-level cell (MLC) or enterprise-multi-level cell (eMLC).

The Deneva Series drives are customizable, providing customers with drives that fit the organization's specific needs while using low-cost flash components to ensure "maximum compatibility, performance and total cost of ownership," the company said.

The customizable-drives family will be available in several form factors, including 1.8-inch, 3.5-inch and custom sizes. Customers can specify the factory-test requirements for the solid state drives and request tailored firmware and functionality. The Deneva family also supports locked specifications, OCZ said.

"It is really interesting to watch the march to higher-density and lower-priced SSDs and the effect that is going to have on the mobile space," said Al Hilwa, the program director of IDC's Applications Development Software group. "Many of these things will end up in phone- and tablet-like devices, where in a couple of years, on-board storage will rival notebook storage of today," he said.

These new offerings solidify OCZ's partnership with SandForce. SandForce's controllers are currently used in OCZ's Vertex 2 and Ibis solid state drives, both announced within the past two weeks. OCZ used to rely on Indilinx's Amigos chips, but when unveiling Vertex 2 late last month, OCZ announced that it will be shifting to SandForce chips.

Solid states drives offer superior speed, durability and power efficiency over traditional hard drives, and companies are switching from hard disc drives to solid state to take advantage of those benefits. In a rugged environment, such as the warehouse floor, or for mobile users, solid state drives tend to last longer and have fewer data-loss issues.