Enterprise, Hardware

OCZ Unveils Its SSD Controller: Dual-Core ARM, DDR3, TLC Flash

OCZ Technology is one of world’s largest SSD manufacturers and the company is renowned for its SandForce-based products. However, the company actually owns an SSD controller manufacturer, Korean Indilinx.

Couple of weeks ago, we exclusively announced that Indilinx is finishing its next-gen SSD controller, and today that Solid State Drive Controller became a reality. Under the name "Indilinx Everest SATA 3.0 SSD platform", OCZ delivers an ultra-fast NAND Flash controller that brings a lot of innovative features to the market.

Riding on the wave of smartphones and the exponential increase in computing power, Indilinx Everest utilizes two contemporary ARM cores with an eight-channel design which supports 16-way interleaving (for maximum performance). Just like Seagate went with 4K and optimized performance of their 5900rpm "green drives" to beat conventional 7200rpm drives, OCZ/Indilinx created a controller which is closely optimized for 4K to 16K
The controller now supports Triple-Level Cell NAND Flash, next generation of MLC (Multi-Level-Cell NAND actually holds 2 bits of information instead of one inside the SLC memory chips) that will allow for a 50% increase in capacity over the conventional MLC memory.

In order to keep the NAND cells alive for as long as possible, Everest brings in support for Dynamic and Static Wear-Leveling, Background Garbage Collection, TRIM as well as End-to-End Data Protection.

The TLC support expands to allow 1TB of storage per controller, enabling OCZ to launch up to 4TB products from their enterprise-grade PCIe-based Solid State Drives such as RevoDrive or Z Drive. Unlike the competition, Indilinx Everest controller still supports caching method, this time up to 512MB of DDR3 DRAM cache ticking at 400MHz (DDR3-800).

According to official spec sheet, the controller supports up to 500MB/s sequential speeds and up to 200 million transfers per second, 20% higher than competing products such as SandForce SF-2000 series, which is limited to 166 MT/s.

The interesting part is that it also supports NAND Flash manufactured in sub-20nm process nodes, such as potential 16nm and 14nm nodes. OCZ Technology however, did not state when the first drives will be available on the market. Official status is that "the Indilinx Everest SSD platform is now available to OEMs for validation."