OCZ has just issued a press release announcing their filing for bankruptcy, which was expected since Nasdaq had halted the trading of OCZ stock earlier today. OCZ has had financial issues for quite a long time and it was just a matter of time before the inevitable happened. While OCZ did try to change its course by reforming their product portfolio when Ryan Petersen, the former CEO of OCZ, stepped down, it seems that the efforts weren't enough to make the business profitable.

OCZ leaves behind a noticeable amount of assets, most importantly its engineering teams in California, South Korea and Great Britain thanks to the prior acquisitions of PLX and Indilinx. Toshiba has already offered to buy OCZ's assets but currently there is no certainty on whether the deal will be completed. Toshiba's offer is, as expected, subject to various conditions such as retention of the employees because it obviously makes no sense to buy the assets unless Toshiba also gets the immaterial capital that is integrated into the employees. We'll have to wait and see how the deal turns out but at this point I recommend not buying any OCZ products because there is no guarantee that warranties will be honored.

It's sad to see OCZ going because they've been one of the pioneers in the consumer SSD industry. They were one of the most active companies when we started to see the first consumer SSDs in 2008/2009 but OCZ lost a ton of sales once Samsung and other major OEMs began to take the consumer SSD market seriously. It's hard to say what ultimately killed OCZ without knowing their exact cost structure but I believe it was a combination of bad strategy (too many products and high production volumes) and engineering choices (low reliability) along with other things. 

What happens to OCZ now depends on the completion of the Toshiba deal. Even if Toshiba completes the purchase of OCZ's assets, I doubt we'll see the OCZ brand anymore. OCZ's brand image took a hit with the low reliability, so I doubt Toshiba will see the OCZ brand adding any value to its products. I do hope that the deal goes through because OCZ's Indilinx Barefoot 3 platform has a lot of potential and it would be lamentable to see all that hard work to be flushed down the toilet. 

Source: Nasdaq

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  • RaistlinZ - Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - link

    Still using my 120GB Vertex 2 I bought in 2010. No issues with it.
  • jiffylube1024 - Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - link

    Hmm... I guess a few bad quarters killed them? They seemed to be doing well; although the Agility/Vertex 1/2/3 generations were failure prone, they seemed to improve as time went on and they were very popular for a time.

    I guess the fact that everyone has been going with Intel/Samsung/Crucial for reliability and OCZ's reputation as the least reliable SSD manufacturer was their undoing?

    Not to mention their unfocused product lineup - in addition to the Agility, Vertex and unnecessary "Solid" series they had a new Vector lineup with their in-house Indilinx controller that was never very clearly marketed to consumers. Samsung got it right IMO with two products - their regular TLC lineup (840 & EVO) and the "Pro" series. No need for 4+ different lineups with all sorts of different memory configurations. Just build one or two models and make them reliable!
  • lmcd - Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - link

    Hopefully Toshiba acquires the entirety of OCZ's assets and pursues the SSD market with OCZ's ferocity with an increased emphasis in power consumption.
  • Assimilator87 - Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - link

    Ah, so sad to see them go. They were always on the cutting edge of RAM and made some amazing products.
  • Chugworth - Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - link

    Well that's too bad. I love my 512GB Vertex 4. I've had it for over a year now with no issues at all. I can't really say the news comes as a surprise though with all the competition in the SSD business.
  • iwod - Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - link

    Well it was a tough market to be in to begin with. I have no idea why they went all in on this. Since it was only a matter of time the NAND manufacture step in the SSD game. Samsung done this alone with Intel/Micron.

    Intel has the reliability reputation. I think there goes 40% of the market. Then there are those cost conscious. And you can never win those who make their own NAND. There goes another 40% of the market. ( 40% are just imaginary numbers for argument ).

    So they are effectively competing for the 20% market against all other players. OEM like Apple will be making their own SSD, The PC market is rapdily shrinking, adding their recent problems with SSD drives.

    It seems fate has been decided for them a long while ago
  • Penti - Thursday, November 28, 2013 - link

    OEM's like Apple will just like every other OEM contract out the SSD, even when they use special (custom) connectors. Even though they bought anobit they don't do SSD-controllers. Thus Samsung is their main supplier now, they have been using SanDisk, and Toshiba too before but they are left out now when they have no PCIe solution available at the moment.

    Intel began using their own controllers, their consumer stuff don't any more. Samsung has been doing their own since they entered the game, and SK Hynix has bought LAMD which is pretty decent. Toshiba already has a custom Marvell controller (Toshiba-branded) and their own firmware which works great. WD/HGST bought sTEC, Seagate got their own SAS-SSD controller by now. SanDisk, Lite-on and possibly a few others prefers Marvell at the moment. Crucial/Micron does go the Marvell/custom-firmware route. Toshiba would probably be worse of with Barefoot from OCZ.

    Plus the idea that Apple could turn away from sourcing Samsung when they always saves Apple is ridiculous. When they have monitor (panel) problems with their other 2-3 suppliers they always source and turn to Samsung for higher volumes, they still manufacturing all their SoCs, provide a lot of DRAM and NAND (eMMC), and now they are the only ones providing PCIe SSD's for Apple's machines. Samsung is one of three major DRAM suppliers now that Micron has taken over Elpida. Also they supply most of the battery cells to customers like Apple. Industrial conglomerates can do stuff. NAND is basically split between IM Flash (Intel/Micron), Samsung, Toshiba and SK Hynix, with SanDisk getting a share out of Toshiba's plants and doing stuff like their own eMMC memory. It's not a Samsung v Intel case there.
  • Kristian Vättö - Thursday, November 28, 2013 - link

    SanDisk does have a PCIe solution, which is used by Apple ;)
  • Penti - Thursday, November 28, 2013 - link

    Ah wait your right, it has been used in Macbook Airs among others, I simply didn't remember even though I'm sure I saw it in tear downs and it's the Marvell 88SS9183 so they are not alone but they might actually use Samsung DRAM on the SanDisk ones :) That choice is SanDisk's own and they use both SK Hynix and Samsung DRAM on those that I've seen pictures of. Right now Marvell or Samsung is pretty much the only controller choice you got. When it comes to PCIe client-devices already out. I guess only Apple knows who they will source the most from though. Toshiba could supply them with the same any way. I guess they could source from Lite-on too. I guess Toshiba is still busy floggin their own branded version without DRAM, aka their SATA-based M.2 drive. Only a matter of time before we see A-data M.2 PCIe drives, and so on and others in the wild too. Any way, Sony seems to have gone Korean and use XP941 in systems like Sony Vaio Pro. But that is just one other thing to speak against trying to do something with Barefoot-3, the Toshiba/SanDisk-NAND already does PCIe M.2/Apple-drives with bothering with Indilinx/PLX-IP.
  • HappyCracker - Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - link

    How many remember them from back in the Pentium 2/3 days? I think even then, they had a reputation for unreliably shipping RAM that was supposed to be great for those that actually had it arrive. Much credit to them for turning around some years later and creating the first decent SSD that produced consistent performance against the Super Talent/JMicron drives of the day (and Anand, of course).

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