OCZ Technology Group, Inc. is shipping the Vertex 3 SATA (serial advanced technology attachment) III SSD (solid-state or flash disk) Series in 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB capacities. Built around the SandForce SF-2200 SSD processor with the 6Gbps SATA III interface to deliver double the performance of the previous generation, the Vertex 3 provides up to 550MB/s of bandwidth and up to 60,000 IOPS (4k random write). An enterprise version, the Vertex 3 Pro, is scheduled to ship later this quarter.
Announced at the end of February, SandForce's SF-2200 features support for 30nm- and 20nm-class NAND flash with Asynch/ONFi1/ONFi2/Toggle interfaces with data transfer rates up to 166 Mega Transfers per second, Trusted Computing Group (TCG) OPAL security with 256-bit AES encryption and automatic, line-rate double encryption with a drive-level password, and advanced ECC engine correcting up to 55 bits per 512-byte sector to assure high data integrity and support for future generations of flash memory. It also offers power and performance optimization and tuning features to maximize mobile battery life.
Primarily known for its consumer products, OCZ has seen its SSD business growing at more than a 200 percent pace for fiscal 2011, with revenues expected to top $130 million. The latest addition to its SSD lineup delivers 20 percent faster IOPS and 40 percent faster sequential read/write throughput than the Vertex 2.
In addition to providing performance that exceeds that of competitors like Intel, Corsair or Crucial, the company says it offers customization capabilities that set it apart from its peers. OEMs can choose from several interface options - SATA 6Gbps, SAS 6Gbps, Fibre Channel, and NAND flash preferences - MLC, eMLC, and SLC, as well as options for form factors, tailored firmware and custom provisioning/configurations. OCZ also offers its proprietary VCA (virtualized controller architecture), an intra-SSD storage virtualization technology which increases performance, and enables TRIM, SMART monitoring, NCQ, TCQ, power fail management, and wear-leveling (currently unavailable in RAID environments).
Michael Yang, principal analyst, memory & storage, IHS iSuppli Corporation, says the new line really opens up the bottleneck from the interface. "By upgrading to the 6Gbps, it can further improve performance that the high-end clients are seeking." He thinks it's a good fit for the enterprise market.