OCZ Technology Group has officially introduced its high-speed data link (HSDL) interface that it demonstrated earlier this year as well as announced release of its first product featuring the technology that eliminates interface bottlenecks for ultra high-performance solid-state drives.
As reported, the first implementation of HSDL utilizes a special controller that can be plugged into PCI Express bus. The controller supports one or more HSDL devices and provides bandwidth of up to 20Gb/s (2.5GB/s). HSDL uses the same base protocols as PCI-Express and bonds multiple serial channels into a single virtual channel. The HSDL interface relies on industry standard SAS cables, though thanks to using PCIe-like protocols can offer higher bandwidth.
The first solid-state drive (SSD) for HSDL will be called OCZ Ibis and will feature internal RAID 0 or Frame Information Structure (FIS)-based switching in order to ensure maximum performance and utilize additional bandwidth provided by HSDL. Each of the drives will be bundled with appropriate single-port HSDL controller, though, prices are projected to be very high. Quad-port cards for multiple drive configurations will also be available to clients seeking even greater storage and bandwidth.
The concept of HSDL seems to be pretty interesting: it allows to plug multiple very high-speed SSDs to PCI Express slots using special controllers and ensuring very high bandwidth. Obviously, plugging a single SSD into a PCIe slot provides even greater performance, but the amount of PCIe slots is limited in a number of cases and it may make more sense to either use extenders for PCIe-based SSDs or HSDL solution from OCZ Technology. The market for HSDL solutions will be relatively limited since it will take a long time before makers of servers validate the technology for use in their machines, whereas companies who do not need validation, but concentrate on raw performance hardly sell utlra-expensive SSDs.
"Solid State Drive throughput speeds are increasing at a rate in excess of what current storage buses can support, and as a result, storage protocols are quickly becoming the bottleneck to storage subsystem performance. Designed for both high-performance computing and enterprise storage applications, our new High Speed Data Link interface addresses this issue and revolutionizes data storage by significantly outperforming other current interfaces delivering performance at levels that saturate most CPU busses," said Ryan Petersen, chief executive officer of OCZ Technology.