In March, OCZ signed a definitive agreement to acquire Indilinx, the SSD controller company that pretty much dominated the value segment in 2009 before Intel got aggressive on pricing and SandForce took over the high-end. Indilinx was late on releasing its 6Gbps SSD controller prior to the acquisition and had all but fallen off the radar as most of its partners jumped ship to SandForce. OCZ scooped up the company with hopes of developing its own controllers and rising above the memory-manufacturer-turned-SSD-player crowd.

SandForce has obviously extended its reach since OCZ announced its intentions, partnering with many of OCZ's competitors in an attempt to expand its reach as well as lessen dependence on OCZ. As a customer turned competitor, SF like many of us knew that an OCZ SSD boasting a new Indilinx controller was in the works. Today we have the first details on that solution and it's called Octane.

Based on the Indilinx Everest controller, OCZ is touting incompressible data and sustained write performance as the two major strengths of Octane - obviously a jab SandForce and traditional SSD weaknesses. The controller is paired up with up to a 512MB DRAM cache, indicating that it is taking the more traditional route of storing both user data as well as page mapping tables in DRAM. There's no mention of power protection circuitry to flush the cache contents to NAND in the event of a power failure, but given the target market for these drives I don't suppose we'll see such a feature. 

The Octane will be available in two discrete versions: one with 6Gbps SATA support and one limited to 3Gbps (SATA 3.0 and 2.0, respectively). The 6Gbps version will ship with 25nm IMFT synchronous NAND, while the 3Gbps version will use 25nm IMFT async NAND similar to the Vertex 3/Agility 3 divide today. Sequential read/write speeds are competitive at 560/400 MBps, while 4KB random read/write speeds are quoted at 45K/25K. 

 

Capacities start at 128GB and will go all the way up to 1TB. OCZ is expecting pricing to fall somewhere within the $1.10 - $1.30 per GB range, which would put a 128GB drive at no more than $166 (in line with current Vertex 2 pricing) and a 1TB drive at just over $1300. Spare area is set at the standard ~7% you get from the GiB to GB conversion. No word on whether or not there's any additional NAND set aside for redundancy. 

The Everest controller features 8 NAND channels and up to 16-way interleaving. With 25nm NAND that means peak performance should be achievable with the 128GB model, with the larger drives just offering higher capacity and no additional performance. TRIM is of course supported. OCZ indicates support for both standard wear leveling and background garbage collection (presumably at idle time).

The first Octane drives will be available in the channel starting November 1st. I've already dispatched a huge list of questions to OCZ about the controller and the drive's architecture so I'll update this post as I get any new information. And of course, once we get a review sample I'll begin extensive testing.

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  • sicofante - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    "who uses more than 256 gb anyway?"

    I will never understand this sort of statements. Can you really not imagine anyone using a bigger then 256GB SSD? Are you that shortsighted?

    I build workstations for video apps and I've been wanting to have an "as big as possible array" for real time non-compressed 4K video. Media workstations will benefit enormously from having an 8TB array for that purpose in a 2-bay (5,25") space. There you have a use case.

    Want another? What about a small very fast server for a medium sized company?

    Even in the consumer space, the only reason for not having a 1TB SSD in a laptop is its price. Once is goes down, I bet you'll find dozens of reasons for having more than 256GB.
    Reply
  • JonnyDough - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    I have games that will take up 20 GBs... Reply
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  • semo - Saturday, October 22, 2011 - link

    There was no recall. More importantly this should never have happened. It is not as if OCZ didn't know that there was less usable capacity in those drives. They knowingly missold their products.

    acknowledged != fixed
    Reply
  • semo - Saturday, October 22, 2011 - link

    So you don't mind being sold less than what you paid for and expected, as long as the manufacturer "is leading the way"? Reply
  • JonnyDough - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Its bleeding edge technology. You should know you're taking a risk. There are many issues between hardware. These days everyone rushes to market.

    Go sue a video game developer for releasing a product with bugs while you're at it. All of OCZ's drives come with a warranty, and they release firmware updates. They DO support their products.
    Reply
  • JonnyDough - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Furthermore, use of the product is exclusively stated in ALL storage products that the manufacturer is NOT responsible for lost data. It is up to YOU to back up your data and make sure that it is kept safe. They cannot be responsible for YOUR stuff. Only for THEIRS. As a huge corporation they do an amazing job of holding up their end of the deal. They sort through thousands of RMA requests a day I'm sure. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    "Firmwha?"

    The issues with most PCs can be narrowed down to a problem between the keyboard and the back of a chair. :) Education is power.
    Reply
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