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OCZ Technology, a leading supplier of memory and flash products, on Tuesday announced that it would use advanced controllers from SandForce company for its upcoming solid-state drives (SSDs) designed for consumer and enterprise clients. The company hopes that the new controllers will improve reliability and performance of its SSDs.

“Together with SandForce we are focused on making enterprise-class MLC-based SSDs which offer excellent reliability and performance coupled with superior total cost of ownership for all our customers,” said Ryan Petersen, chief executive officer of the OCZ Technology Group.

OCZ’s SSD line powered by SandForce’s SF-1200 and SF-1500 controllers will be available in multiple interfaces including 3Gb/s Serial ATA and 6Gb/s Serial Attached SCSI in capacities ranging from 50GB to 400GB, addressing an assortment of storage and infrastructure requirements. Different solid-state drives will use multi-level cell (MLC) and single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash memory.

SandForce is a little known startup that designs controllers for SSDs. It has developed technology that it calls DuraClass, a set of flash management features that work in tandem to deliver better SSD reliability, performance, and power efficiency. These features include:

  • DuraWrite, which optimizes the number of program cycles to the flash effectively extending flash rated endurance by 80x or more when compared to standard controllers.
  • Powerful flash media error correction (ECC) and RAISE (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements), which deliver an orders-of-magnitude improvement in drive reliability versus today’s SSDs and enterprise HDDs. The result is single-drive RAID-like protection and recovery from a potentially catastrophic single flash block or die failure – all while avoiding the inefficiencies of traditional RAID.
  • Wear Leveling and Monitoring, which provides monitoring of flash block operational metrics to optimize wear leveling algorithms, further extending flash endurance.
  • Advanced Read/Program Disturb Management, which safeguards against errant re-programming of cells during read and program cycles and unexpected power loss.
  • Recycler, which intelligently performs garbage collection with the least impact on flash endurance.

The SandForce SF-1000 family features a standard SATA-300 host interface connecting up to 512GB of commodity NAND flash memory, and delivers 30K IOPS (random 4K read or write transfers), and 250MB/s performance (sequential 128KB read or write transfers) with 100 micro-second latency. SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) connectivity is easily achieved via a third-party SAS-SATA bridge available from multiple sources. According to SandForce, SF-1000-based SSDs can sustain peak performance for 5-year enterprise lifecycles without artificial daily usage restrictions or costly over-provisioning techniques. SandForce provides software, firmware, reference designs, and complete design kits to enable OEMs to bring SSDs to market quickly.

Actual product announcements will be made in the next few weeks leading up to the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show show.

Tags: OCZ, SandForce, SSD, Flash

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