Announcing a Q&A and Giveaway with OCZ

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OCZPeter

Junior Member
Oct 6, 2016
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My question is a bit of a two parter. Will we see NVMe drives eventually reach price parity with current SATA/AHCI drives? Does the increasing capacity of SSDs make power loss protection any more important?
Absolutely, yes, NVMe drives will hit price and capacity parity with current SATA drives at which point SATA will fade away. This will probably happen sooner than people think, within a few years.

In a pure technical sense, as the capacity of an SSD increases so does the size of the mapping table so it's logical to think power loss protection becomes more important. There are two approaches to handling unexpected power loss: increasing the hold up time the drive has to clean up and safely shut down by adding capacitors, or improving the robustness of the firmware and decreasing the amount of work that needs to be done during this additional hold up time, reducing the amount of additional capacitance required. I unfortunately can't go into too much technical detail here as this strays into special sauce territory, but think of similar work and techniques done on the filesystem level like journaling, write verification, and increasingly sophisticated error correction. We tackle the problem from both ends, so the presence, or lack thereof, or large power loss protection capacitors are not necessarily indicative of how robust a drive manages unexpected power loss. In fact, if you check your SMART data you're likely to see some amount of unexpected power losses recorded you didn't even notice.

Funnily enough, the trend in the datacenter space is not build in any additional power loss protection on the drive level, but to push the cost down as much as possible and build in redundancy at higher levels. Relevant xkcd: https://xkcd.com/1737/
 

Durray

Junior Member
Oct 6, 2016
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Hey guys couple of cheeky questions if I can squeeze them in:

- Regarding the Indilinx IP, I noted the VX 500 used the TC358790 controller, what happened to the old Barefoot Controller and its IP, will we see a "Barefoot 4" ?
- With a refresh of the Vertex line (VX) will we see the Vector line refreshed soon as well to replace the Vector 180?
 

OCZPeter

Junior Member
Oct 6, 2016
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How do you see your SSDs holding up in the event of a catastrophic, electronic destroying solar flare? Also, would you have any preservation suggestions to keep data contained on one of your SSDs intact so that it can be put into a time capsule and eventually figured out when rediscovered by a different hypothetical civilization centuries later? And lastly, are you working on SSD solutions to replace eMMC in tablets?
Heh, interesting question. I can't honestly say we've generated a catastrophic solar flare in the test lab, but as long as the drives are not physically fried it would depend on how many bits got flipped. The drives are designed with multiple error correction checkpoints in the datapath specifically to catch silent errors from bitflips, so I guess it depends on your definition of "catastrophic". :)

In terms of the long term storage I touched on this somewhat here: https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/announcing-a-q-a-and-giveaway-with-ocz.2487888/page-2#post-38507023
But no, due to how NAND functions I don't believe SSDs in their current state are suitable for crazy long term storage like time capsules. In the timeframes you're suggesting even HDDs will have their issues. There are optical discs explicitly designed for archival purposes, but I'll confess to not being an expert on storage in the millenia scale, sorry. Maybe try this? http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/a19459/is-a-quartz-hard-drive-the-first-immortal-storage-medium/

And yes, earlier this year at CES we demoed an NVMe BGA SSD. These are perfect for mobile applications and much, much faster than eMMC or UFS.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/10546/toshiba-announces-new-bga-ssds-using-3d-tlc-nand
 

OCZPeter

Junior Member
Oct 6, 2016
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Hey guys couple of cheeky questions if I can squeeze them in:

- Regarding the Indilinx IP, I noted the VX 500 used the TC358790 controller, what happened to the old Barefoot Controller and its IP, will we see a "Barefoot 4" ?
- With a refresh of the Vertex line (VX) will we see the Vector line refreshed soon as well to replace the Vector 180?
Alex talked about the Barefoot team here: https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/announcing-a-q-a-and-giveaway-with-ocz.2487888/page-2#post-38506664
We tagged the VX500 with the homage to the Vertex name as it slots in quite well as a mainstream product. We envision the Vector brand as a higher end, enthusiast product. The rub is that I believe SATA is shifting towards a value market, it's hard to get excited about squeezing a few more IOPS out of an enthusiast SATA product when we're both bus constrained and massively faster NVMe drives are already here. Why pay a price premium for AN AWESOME SATA drive that nets you a few % points of performance when you can buy an NVMe drive for not a whole lot more and get 5x the performance? We're already seeing the NVMe market split into both high end, and cheaper NVMe, so I feel this is the segment that's going to get a lot more exciting, while SATA becomes cheap bulk storage.

The RD400 was branded to recall the RevoDrive line that's been our PCIe hallmark, so that leaves the Vector brand in an odd position. That said, Vector hold a special place in my heart as the original Vector was the first product I solo managed and launched, so I'm gonna have to find some way to bring it back.
 

Elixer

Lifer
May 7, 2002
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I am wondering, what exactly is a Toshiba/OCZ refurbished SSD?
Is the NAND reused, the case, the controller or what exactly is refurbished with a refurbished SSD?
 

Zoomer

Senior member
Dec 1, 1999
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Not sure if I'm too late - but on a lighter note, how does OCZ come up with the model names? How about emulating Sony (in their heyday) with their seemingly logical but cool sounding model names?
 

Neutrinos

Junior Member
Sep 29, 2016
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I'm not sure if you guys will answer any belated questions, but after reading your answers I've come up with a new one!

As you guys mentioned, using SSDs for long-term storage isn't the best; but do you guys know of, or are working on, anything that can make SSDs suitable for long-term storage? I mean, in this article the chart shows that if you run an SSD at 55C and store it at 25C, the theoretical storage duration is 7.7 years which isn't a very ideal length for archival storage and managing the active temperature to stay at 55C isn't easy (25C storage is reasonable enough). Optical disks are a good price per gigabyte, but their storage is sensitive, their read and write speeds are slow, multiple disks are needed, and the most durable disks are write-once. Optical and tape are hardly the most user friendly way of archiving data and I think it would be cool to have moderate sized SSDs be of archival durability at the expense of some performance.
 

Travis Flynn

Junior Member
Oct 7, 2016
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Hi OCZ,
I have a two part question. First at what point do you think OCZ will join the soon approaching set of vendors with bulk phase change memory architectures (aka 3d cross point memory, with at least one brand name as Intel Optane)? Or does OCZ anticipate that technology to be niche market for the foreseeable future?

Second, Is OCZ leading the charge on that, or is Toshiba?

Thanks!
 

Travis Flynn

Junior Member
Oct 7, 2016
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What do you think the next major mainstream SSD connection will be? Pretty sure SATA/mSATA is out, but M.2 and PCI/NVMe are still around and kicking...
I'm curious about this too. I've noticed M.2 over NVMe has been making price comparisons with normal SATA and M.2 . I haven't seen this happen with eSATA yet, but I feel like these buses play different roles potentially. eSATA is still quite new anyway.
 

sheh

Senior member
Jul 25, 2005
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OCZ guys, thanks for the answers.
I wish you could elaborate more on retention. :--)
 

Dushyanth K rao

Junior Member
Oct 13, 2016
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When do you think the SSD internal operation becomes more on par with external operations. Seems to be controller bottleneck as of today. SSD to another SSD seems as rated speed compared against copying within.
 
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