Meet the IBIS

OCZ sent us the basic IBIS kit. Every IBIS drive will come with a free 1-port PCIe card. Drive capacities range from 100GB all the way up to 960GB:

OCZ IBIS Lineup
Part Number Capacity MSRP
OCZ3HSD1IBS1-960G 960GB $2799
OCZ3HSD1IBS1-720G 720GB $2149
OCZ3HSD1IBS1-480G 480GB $1299
OCZ3HSD1IBS1-360G 360GB $1099
OCZ3HSD1IBS1-240G 240GB $739
OCZ3HSD1IBS1-160G 160GB $629
OCZ3HSD1IBS1-100G 100GB $529

Internally the IBIS is a pretty neat design. There are two PCBs, each with two SF-1200 controllers and associated NAND. They plug into a backplane with a RAID controller and a chip that muxes the four PCIe lanes that branch off the controller into the HSDL signal. It's all custom OCZ PCB-work, pretty impressive.


This is the sandwich of PCBs inside the IBIS chassis


Pull the layers apart and you get the on-drive RAID/HSDL board (left) and the actual SSD cards (right)


Four SF-1200 controllers in parallel, this thing is fast

There’s a standard SATA power connector and an internal mini-SAS connector. The pinout of the connector is proprietary however, plugging it into a SAS card won’t work. OCZ chose the SAS connector to make part sourcing easier and keep launch costs to a minimum (designing a new connector doesn’t make things any easier).

The IBIS bundle includes a HSDL cable, which is a high quality standard SAS cable. Apparently OCZ found signal problems with cheaper SAS cables. OCZ has validated HSDL cables at up to half a meter, which it believes should be enough for most applications today. There obviously may be some confusion caused by OCZ using the SAS connector for HSDL but I suspect if the standard ever catches on OCZ could easily switch to a proprietary connector.

The 1-port PCIe card only supports PCIe 1.1, while the optional 4-port card supports PCIe 1.1 and 2.0 and will auto-negotiate speed at POST.


The bundled 1-port PCIe card

The Need for Speed The Vision and The Test
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  • punjabiplaya - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    If I understood this correctly, OCZ is just using PCIe signaling over a SAS cable (with accompanying card to demux and pass on to the PCIe lanes)? That's ingenious. Reply
  • davecason - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    This method also makes it easy to port it to a laptop interface through an express card socket. Reply
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    Isn't that what PCIe RAID controllers do (minus the SAS cable)? Reply
  • TinyTeeth - Saturday, October 02, 2010 - link

    I'm pretty sure they communicate with regular SATA SSD drives through the SATA interface, whereas HSDL brings PCIe all the way to the SSD drive. This would be why IBIS supports much higher IOPS than previous PCIe SSD solutions like the Z-Drive (which were limited by SATA RAID). Someone please correct me if I'm wrong about this. Reply
  • Ethaniel - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    675 MB/s in sequential write? I just feel sad all of a sudden. SSDs are so forbidden for me right now, but this is a true monster. Maybe they'll make a more "down-to-Earth" version next time. Good stuff, anyway. Reply
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    If only I could burn DVDs that fast. Reply
  • Lerianis - Saturday, October 02, 2010 - link

    You still burn DVD's? Hell, I stopped doing that a few months ago when I realized that 99% of the stuff I burned was really a 'watch-once and never again' thing and went out to get one of those 2.5" 1TB external hard drives.

    Haven't burned another DVD since.
    Reply
  • rqle - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    too much proprietary peripherals, if i am going to use a PCIe card, I might as well just stick with a revodrive. pcie slots, proprietary slots connectors, proprietary cable, proprietary disk drive interface, blah. ill just stick with their own revodrive for now and wait for sata or sas controllers to pick up speed. Reply
  • jo-82 - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    SAS cabels aren't that expensive these days, and the most companies who would by one of these use them today anyway.

    And good luck waiting the next 3-5 years or so for SATA 12GB ;)
    Reply
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    Gb, not GB Reply

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