Although today solid-state drives with Serial ATA interface for both client and server systems represent the largest portion of sales for OCZ Technology Group, going forward the situation will change and adoption of SSDs with PCI Express or SAS interfaces will grow. The company is confident that the popularity of PCIe SSD will grow among workstation/enthusiast customers and promises to introduce PCI Express solid-state drives with its own controllers.
One of the key performance limiters of modern solid-state drives is Serial ATA-6Gb/s interface. Previously it was believed that Intel Corp.’s next-generation 9-series chipsets due next year would support much faster Serial ATA Express interface (8Gb/s or 16Gb/s initially), however, the world’s largest chipmaker decided not to validate operation of SATA Express technology with I/O controller of 9-series core-logic and the world will have to rely on existing SATA-6Gb/s interface. Without faster interface for future solid-state drives, SSD manufacturers will have to focus on maximum sustainable performance, not just maximum sequential read speed of their products. Additionally, performance-demanding end-users will likely consider PCI Express-based SSDs.
In fact, many enterprise customers have been adopting solid-state storage solutions with PCIe interface for several years now and that trend will only carry on.
“We continue to see not only opportunity but growth in PCIe-based SSDs. On the enterprise server and data center storage front, PCIe and SAS continue to grow as slots are available and PCIe delivers the highest performance and density. OCZ not only offers PCIe-based edge cards that are ideal for tiered and primary storage; we also have focused on combining the hardware with software for a complete solution,” said Alex Mei, chief marketing officer of OCZ Technology, in an interview with DigiTimes web-site.
OCZ also offers RevoDrive solid-state drives with PCI Express interface designed for workstations and high-end desktops. Due to increasing demands for performance, it is logical to assume that adoption of such drives will increase as well. In a bid to create cost-efficient solutions with the right performance and functionality for enthusiasts, OCZ will introduce PCIe SSDs with its own Indilinx controllers.
“Client and workstation PCIe adoption also continues to increase as customers are looking for faster and higher density solutions that offer improved bandwidth over what traditional SATA interface and drives can provide. We are finding that the RevoDrive series has become popular among workstation users, enthusiasts looking for the highest transfer rates in high performance desktops, graphic designers and customers that put a premium on high speed processing when creating digital content. Moving forward you can see us continue to expand the RevoDrive series utilizing our own controllers,” said Mr. Mei.