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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  • clovis501 - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    If this innovation will eventually make it's way down to personal computer, it could simplify board design by allowing us to do away with the ever-changing SATA standard. A PCI Bus for all drives, and so much bandwidth than any bus-level bottleneck would be a thing of the past. One Bus to rule them all! Reply
  • LancerVI - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    One bus to rule them all! That's a great point. One can hope. That would be great! Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    I want AT to how me how long will it take to install Windows 7 from a fast USB stick, install all the biggest and IO hungry apps. Then i want to see how long will it take to start them all @ the same time having been put in the Start-up folder. Then i want to see how well would work 5 virtual machines doing some synthetic benchmarks (each one @ the same time) under windows 7.

    Than i will have a clear view of how fast these SSD monsters are.
    Reply
  • Minion4Hire - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    Well aren't you demanding... =p Reply
  • Perisphetic - Thursday, September 30, 2010 - link

    ...or the past.
    Well it's probably deja vu, sounds like it.
    This is exactly what the MCA (Micro Channel architecture) bus did.back in the day. My IBM PS/2 35 SX's hard drive connected directly to this bus which was also the way the plug in cards connected...
    Reply
  • jonup - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    "Even our upcoming server upgrade uses no less than fifty two SSDs across our entire network, and we’re small beans in the grand scheme of things."
    That's why the prices of SSD stay so high. The demand on the server market is way to high. Manufacturers do not need to fight for the mainstream consumer.
    Reply
  • mckirkus - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    I hate to feed trolls but this one is so easy to refute...

    The uptake of SSDs in the enterprise ultimately makes them cheaper/faster for consumers. If demand increases so does production. Also enterprise users buy different drives, the tech from those fancy beasts typically ends up in consumer products.

    The analogy is that big car manufacturers have race teams for bleeding edge tech. If Anand bought a bunch of track ready Ferraris it wouldn't make your Toyota Yaris more expensive.

    Flash production will ramp up to meet demand. Econ 101.
    Reply
  • jonup - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    Except that there is a limited supply of NAND Flash supply is limited while the demand for Ferraris does affect the demand for Yarises. Further, advances in technologies does not have anything to do with the shortage for Flash. Still further, supply for flash is very inelastic due to the high cost of entry and possibly limited supply of raw materials (read silicon).
    p.s. Do yourself a favor, do not teach me economics.
    Reply
  • jonup - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    Sorry for the bump, but in my original massage I simply expressed my supprise. I was not aware of the fact that SSD are so widely available/used in the commercial side. Reply
  • Ushio01 - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    I believe the random write and read graphs have been mixed up. Reply

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