Details concerning the controller weren’t exactly forthcoming, but it does appear to be a completely in house design, rather than a re-purposed third party product (good as it may be). Regardless of specifics, it’s nice to have yet another new SSD processor in the marketplace, as it’s always interesting to see how a fresh design performs.
Truly, seeing as OCZ is integrating what they’re calling their Aragon Processor which implements an SSD specific RISC instruction set (not to mention, a 400MHz clock speed), it really does seem as though this will be the first completely homegrown design from OCZ since, well, ever. This really is exciting stuff and it will of course be very interesting to see how this fares against the competition, especially since even OCZ itself has stated that Barefoot should bring a sizable performance boost over its current products. OCZ didn’t clarify which products they were talking about exactly, but if they are indeed referring to Everest 1/2, we should all be in for quite a treat.
Such a statement implies that Barefoot 3 will need to have a SATA 6GBps interface, something that’s been out of the Barefoot line’s reach until this point, OCZ having relegated these processors to a more value oriented position. If we do end up seeing a resurgence of the Barefoot line with a 6GBps interface, I can say with certainty that these processors really will need to surpass anything LSI/Sandforce has on the table, especially since this will be OCZ’s third go around at this point. Also, don’t forget the increased competition that now exists, from the likes of Marvell itself and now Biwin as well. Whatever ends up happening, what’s certain is that the SSD processor landscape is going to get quite interesting in the next couple of weeks.
One more thing I’d like to touch on is something that’s been circulating through the rumor mill lately, that being Seagate’s supposed pending acquisition of OCZ. I have to say, such a move really does have the potential to change the face of the SSD market in a very drastic fashion. With Seagate throwing its weight around as a major player in the consumer SSD market, all other entries will surely be put on notice. With increased financial and R&D resources, it seems the sky really may be the limit when it comes to Seagate’s ability to take the market by storm. This is, of course, only if such a scenario actually comes to fruition. Considering OCZ’s financial situation in recent years, an acquisition of this type seems more likely than not. As always, time will tell.
All in all, OCZ seems to be one of the more interesting topics in the SSD industry in recent days. They have a market leading status, and yet they’re not exactly in the black. This just goes to show you that the SSD industry isn’t exactly for the faint of heart. That’s fine by me, as razor thin profit margins mean consumers are getting the best prices possible. If acquisitions are what’s necessary to maintain competitive pricing, so be it. Bring on the chopping block!