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  • Azethoth - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    Yes, vertical integration is good, but damn, this is a cut throat market to do it in. Even Intel slipped up and had to go with 3rd party this time around. Reply
  • vol7ron - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    Yeah but $32M seems like a bargain. It's probably a fair price, the company was probably worth less, but the opportunity benefit is greater for OCZ.

    There are still many ways to improve SSD performance through both hardware and software. Personally, I'd first like to see a combination of Intel's wear leveling, with Sand Force's compression algorithm. If someone in the Open Source community would like to implement this, I would be willing to test it out :)

    I'd also like to see what kind of performance impacts higher rated DRAM would have on the throughput.
    Reply
  • L. - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    "even intel slipped up"

    Now, let's be realistic here, Intel has not been at the peak of *PU research for a while (insert C, G, A, Whatever instead of the *).

    The only thing they did recently that actually made a difference was the core architecture (core 1 to core iX).

    On the general architecture side they copied everything from AMD (the FSB replacement, the integrated mem controller, the multi-core architectures, etc.) and added their core architecture in there (which I admit is really nice, my own cpu is still an old OC'd e6600).

    So CPU side, Intel took 3-5 years developping a new core (don't remember precisely, but between the first athlon and the first C2D, Intel was behind iirc) and did a good job.

    GPU side, Intel has yet to get a single success as they have never beaten nV or ATI (AMD) - and frankly if Voodoo was still on the market, even they would beat the intel chips.

    APU side, Intel sells i3 and i5 stuff that is completely underpowered GPU wise and will be rendered useless (but still sold) by AMD's Fusion (yes, AMD has access to real GPU's).

    On the chipset corner, as long as Intel chipsets battled Nvidia's, EVGA chose nVidia, that says everything imho.

    In the SSD market, Intel has no particular advantage over other companies on the research side (except having lots of moneyz) and as they have shown in the past their inability to do good research in many areas, SSD could just be another of these.

    That being said, the features appreciated on the SF controllers (or any, but I'm taking SF as it's damn decent for today) are going to become standard features very quickly, surely they'll be present in Intel's next controller, as well as Marvell's or Indilinx's (now OCZ).

    So yeah, Intel has money, but that doesn't put them in any good position until they buy the winner of the SSD contest, which might not be decided for another 5 years, when this "new" market settles.
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    Bringing up the P4 days isn't exactly evidence that Intel has "not been at the peak of *PU research for a while". Intel has utterly failed to break into the low-end market dominated by ARM, but their tick-tock cadence has led them to dominate the high-end and mid-range, and hold their own against AMD in the low-end.

    APU-wise, the current GPU in Sandy Bridge is faster than any other iGPU/APU on the market, and is on-par with low-end discrete GPUs. AMD hasn't put anything out that competes (yet), so they're not doing half badly. AMD will probably have something out there that can compete soon enough, but at the moment, Intel isn't doing half bad on that front.

    As for the SSD front, yeah, they misfired there. The 510 is a bit of a joke. It's decent, but it's not an Intel chip, and it's not using 25nm flash. It costs more and performs worse than the latest SF drives.
    Reply
  • formulav8 - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    He is right about Intel copying AMD's cpu overall design.

    Also the latest Intel graphics probably has more nVidia in it than Intel. Kinda like the heart of Intel's latest ssd has a completely non-intel controller in it (A competiters controller at that). Plus AMD's low-end netbook cpu fusion already looks to gives Intel's highest-end graphics a run for its money (I haven't looked at reviews recently though). Intel's graphics doesn't seem to do well in all games. Plus some say they will continue to have bad drivers? I don't know from experience myself. Are they are getting more praise than they probably should? Again I don't know. I just see what from what I read....
    Reply
  • Strunf - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    "The only thing..."
    And yet they make the best CPUs out there...

    "On the general architecture side they copied everything from AMD"
    Hypertransport is just another bus nothing really huge here, integrated mem controllers, multi-core and so on is nothing really unexpected its just a step anyone could have guessed, after all SOC have been around for a long time...

    "EVGA chose nVidia"
    Is EVGA some kind of reference?...

    "Intel has no particular advantage"
    Stop smoking weed, Intel can make it's own flash, chances are they know it better than anyone else, others rely on 3rd party companies, it's for no reason Intel SSD are rock solid with less than 1/2 returns compared to others.
    Reply
  • Nentor - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    "GPU side, Intel has yet to get a single success as they have never beaten nV or ATI (AMD) - and frankly if Voodoo was still on the market, even they would beat the intel chips."

    I think you mean 3DFX?

    I don't think Intel has the same public in mind creating GPU as nVidia and ATI do? They just focus on GPU for business/low end user systems.
    Reply
  • Broheim - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    >>"On the chipset corner, as long as Intel chipsets battled Nvidia's, EVGA chose nVidia, that says everything imho."

    so a company that caters exclusively to gamers would choose the chipset (that at the time was the only one) that supported SLI, what a shocker!

    >>"GPU side, Intel has yet to get a single success as they have never beaten nV or ATI (AMD) - and frankly if Voodoo was still on the market, even they would beat the intel chips."

    because obviously intel tries real hard to be the top GPU manufacturer, right? oh wait...
    the HD2000/3000 is more than plenty for the vast majority of consumers who plays farmville and watch youtube videos... they don't really care about how smoothly they can run crysis.
    quicksync is also stupid and completely useless, amirite?

    honestly I think the 510 is stupid and intel should have sticked with their original plan of X25-M G2 performance at a lower pricepoint (which i hope they still have in the works). synthetic benchmarks aside, it's hard to tell the difference between the X25-M and a "Faster drive" in real world usage.

    as for OCZ buying Indilinx, I think it's great that they now have a new angle from which to screw over customers... /end sarcasm
    Reply
  • Spazweasel - Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - link

    >> because obviously intel tries real hard to be the top GPU manufacturer, right?

    Correct. Intel IS the top GPU manufacturer in the world (at least as far as PCs are concerned), as most computers do not have discrete video, and therefore use the GPU built into the motherboard chipset. And since Intel is by a large margin the dominant manufacturer of chipsets... well, yeah.

    It will be interesting to see, in the near future when mobile computer sales (smartphones, tablets) are the largest segment of computer sales altogether, which video solution is the number one solution worldwide. For all we know, the worldwide dominant video provider might well be PowerVR or Adreno.
    Reply
  • will792 - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    Transposed letters: Porbably very little. Reply
  • clahman - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    i think they porbably meant that.

    i saw " who shows up with a big enough check
    Reply
  • Solidstate89 - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    I hope they learned a lot about controllers from SandForce, because if they expect an Indilinx controller to be able to compete with the likes of Intel's, Marvel's and especially SandForce's next-gen controllers with their current lineup, they've got another thing coming. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    All I know is that the Indilinx 30GB boot drives are very inexpensive and perform very well. The one in my 1.3GHz notebook makes it surf the web faster than my quad core desktop. If this move can help OCZ knock $5 off the cost of a boot drive then it is a smart move. Reply
  • landerf - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    So... how come they didn't just buy sandforce? Seems like money better spent. Reply
  • Kaboose - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    Sandforce wasnt for sale, nor was it going to be only $32M Reply
  • landerf - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    You mean it wasn't for sale like up for sale or like they asked and sandforce said "no". Seems it'd be better to pay more for something useful than blow cash on a dead end. Reply
  • zipz0p - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    I don't think Indillinix is a dead end. I suspect this will allow OCZ to really go hard for the higher-volume mid and lower performance drives, if the current controller hierarchy persists. This is a very interesting move which may position OCZ very well in the SSD landscape, in spite of their much smaller size compared with some of the other players. Reply
  • landerf - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    Just seems to me that shelling out loads of money to play catchup could easily turn out unfavorably. I'm assuming the goal is to eventually either ditch dependence on SF for an internal only controller or ditch dependence on SF and displace them by selling controllers to your competitors. Either way good plan by itself, but I'm not sure buying a company that's already a generation behind was the right way to go. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    The reality is that to buy SF would require more money than OCZ is worth at this point. SF is a very interesting acquisition target, but the company wants to go public so any acquisition price will be very high.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • qrazi - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    And wouldn't Indilinx bring a lot of experience with firmware inhouse with OCZ? From what I have understood from all SSD articles, firmware is where most differentiation can be made.

    So then it would also benefit OCZ SSD's with other controllers then Indilinx?
    Reply
  • GeorgeH - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    OCZ can still use SandForce controllers to chase the performance halo, then use its own budget Indilinx controller to go after the budget/mainstream market. Although I believe flash is the lion's share of an SSD's cost, OCZ should still be able to leverage "at cost" controllers into enough of a price advantage to sweep the average consumer with slightly lower prices at a given capacity point. Reply
  • capeconsultant - Monday, March 14, 2011 - link

    very high end controllers about to pop? Jet or something like that? Reply
  • coconutboy - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    It'll be interesting to see how OCZ's Indilinx-based products compare vs Intel's 3rd and 4th gen x25-m/mainstream lineup. If OCZ can offer quality products at a decently sized price advantage, they can carve out a profitable niche. Otherwise, this Indilinx purchase will turn out to be a bust. Reply
  • njerald - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    Next step for OCZ: in a few months, secretly swap out the SF controller in the Vertex 3 for a slower Indilinx controller. When people find out, OCZ will blame retailers and try to charge customers to swap for the SF-based drives. As it has with the Vertex 2 fiasco, AT will say nothing and stand by all its glowing recommendations for the Vertex 3. Reply
  • DJDave404 - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    LOL njerald

    Your post looks like a resume.

    You Looking for a CEO Job?
    Reply
  • semo - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    In his last response to my request for an article about OCZ's
    wrongdoing, Anand said that the issue had been resolved.

    The only way OCZ can resolve this issue is by recalling all
    incorrectly labelled V2 drives. At the moment, OCZ will only react if
    the affected consumers approach them. So OCZ will only fess up if they
    get caught.
    "OCZ grows Up", I don't think so.

    I've listed Anand's responses to this issue in the following thread.
    forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2143367
    Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    Heh!

    I was just about to ask about the 25nm parts again myself. What happened to any sort of explanation?
    Reply
  • semo - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    I think OCZ will offer you to swap your drive if it is one of the slow 25nm V2s with a faster 25nm one (I think they use denser chips). Anand does not plan to cover OCZ's shoddy 25nm transition based on the last response I got from him.

    forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2143367
    Reply
  • Nentor - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    I don't know Anand personally, and I doubt many people here in the comments do, but when I read one of the first big SSD articles here on AT (about the then shoddy cheap first gen SSD from OCZ) I really thought it was a great article. Very honest and well written. If there were like Pulitzer prices for articles on hardware I would vote for it.

    But I think not long after this that attitude changed. I can not find the same spirit in later articles. I can not believe it is the same man that now claims he "could not get drives" (the Anand I see in the first article would get them no matter what!)
    Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - link

    Yes, they do a free exchange these days, but I've been looking for an explanation of the entire fiasco. Why where drives with half as many addressable chips shipped with the same model number as fully fledged drives? Who then though it was a good idea to charge customers for a full-spec drive replacement?

    There are plenty of other manufacturers making SandForce drives. Explain or expire.
    Reply
  • Titi2.01 - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    Indilix is probably not able to compete last generation controllers, but they surely can issue a SF1200-class controller by the end of the year, making OCZ able to propose fast enough SSDs for OEM and common PC users for a fairly low price.
    Can't wait \o/
    Reply
  • rahvin - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    But how can they beat Micron and Intel's joint venture IMFlash at flash prices? Right now IMFlash is like 6 months ahead of everyone else on process technology and volume production and as a result intel and micron can both undercut prices on everyone else if they wanted. Because of shortages they are using the advantage at the high end for better performance but they still have a pricing advantage against everyone else.

    Ultimately the price of the controller is negligible against the cost of the flash. I don't think buying indilinx was a good idea, if they had the money it would have probably been better spent on some joint venture Fab with a flash producer, although 32 million wouldn't be even a drop in the bucket.

    There is also the issue that other producers are likely to move into this market. TI, Marvel and others have been eyeing the market. Marvell already made their move but TI is still out there with the potentially to drop a major chip on the market. Personally I think there were a lot of better ways they could have spent 32 million, even if it was all just printed stock certificates.
    Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Friday, March 18, 2011 - link

    They dont need to, because they can beat intel on margins. What does it cost Intel to make an 80 gig SSD? Probably $80, right? And they sell them for twice as much and then some. I'm sure OCZ could thrive on half those margins. Reply
  • Zap - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    OCZ does not have a good track record with companies it acquires. Previous acquisitions include Hypersonic and PC Power & Cooling. Reply
  • nonzenze - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    OCZ promised availability after CEBIT. Cebit is over, where are the drives? These mushy launches are starting to grate, it's becoming hard to plan and give advice.

    Maybe we should start talking about launches in terms of when I can actually order the bloody drive from Newegg?
    Reply
  • PandaBear - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    Seriously, for someone that has been shipping a couple generation of controllers, $32M is very low price, at this value either someone buy them up just because, or they will go by themselves. I imagine Indilinx doesn't have enough money to finish the next gen controller so they have to either sell themselves quick or just fold. The big boys don't need them, and OCZ happens to want something for cheap or just try its luck. They probably will be used as a low end controller as I imagine they won't spend big $$ to continue development, now that no one else will buy from OCZ / Indilinx.

    I was surprised other companies like Phison, Samsung, Toshiba, Micron, Marvell, SanDisk, etc who has already some controller design or NAND FAB didn't buy them. Selling to a generic drive maker seems to be a desperate move on Indilinx part.
    Reply
  • darckhart - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - link

    i cant wait for something new from indilinx! hopefully jetstream or whatever's newer. as long as it's different than sandforce. make it so, ocz! Reply
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