The Vision

I spoke with OCZ’s CEO Ryan Petersen and he outlined his vision for me. He wants HSDL and associated controllers to be present on motherboards. Instead of using PCIe SSDs, you’ll have HSDL connectors that can give you the bandwidth of PCIe. Instead of being limited to 3Gbps or 6Gbps as is the case with SATA/SAS today you get gobs of bandwidth. We’re talking 2GB/s of bandwidth per drive (1GB/s up and 1GB/s down) on a PCIe 2.0 motherboard. To feed that sort of bandwidth all OCZ has to do is RAID more SSD controllers internal to each drive (or move to faster drive controllers). Eventually, if HSDL takes off, controller makers wouldn’t have to target SATA they could simply build native PCIe controllers. It’d shave off some component cost and some latency.

You can even have a multi-port IBIS drive

The real win for HSDL appears to be the high end workstation or server markets. The single port HSDL/IBIS solution is interesting for those who want a lot of performance in a single drive, but honestly you could roll your own with a RAID controller and four SandForce drives for less money. The potential is once you start designing systems with multiple IBIS drives. With four of these drives you should be able to push multiple gigabytes per second of data which is just unheard of in something that’s still relatively attainable.

The Test

Note our AnandTech Storage Bench doesn't always play well with RAIDed drives and thus we weren't able to run it on the IBIS.

CPU Intel Core i7 975 running at 3.33GHz (Turbo & EIST Disabled)
Motherboard: Intel DX58SO (Intel X58)
Chipset: Intel X58 + Marvell SATA 6Gbps PCIe
Chipset Drivers: Intel + Intel IMSM 8.9
Memory: Qimonda DDR3-1333 4 x 1GB (7-7-7-20)
Video Card: eVGA GeForce GTX 285
Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare 190.38 64-bit
Desktop Resolution: 1920 x 1200
OS: Windows 7 x64
Meet the IBIS Desktop Performance
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  • punjabiplaya - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    If I understood this correctly, OCZ is just using PCIe signaling over a SAS cable (with accompanying card to demux and pass on to the PCIe lanes)? That's ingenious.
  • davecason - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    This method also makes it easy to port it to a laptop interface through an express card socket.
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    Isn't that what PCIe RAID controllers do (minus the SAS cable)?
  • TinyTeeth - Saturday, October 2, 2010 - link

    I'm pretty sure they communicate with regular SATA SSD drives through the SATA interface, whereas HSDL brings PCIe all the way to the SSD drive. This would be why IBIS supports much higher IOPS than previous PCIe SSD solutions like the Z-Drive (which were limited by SATA RAID). Someone please correct me if I'm wrong about this.
  • Ethaniel - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    675 MB/s in sequential write? I just feel sad all of a sudden. SSDs are so forbidden for me right now, but this is a true monster. Maybe they'll make a more "down-to-Earth" version next time. Good stuff, anyway.
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    If only I could burn DVDs that fast.
  • Lerianis - Saturday, October 2, 2010 - link

    You still burn DVD's? Hell, I stopped doing that a few months ago when I realized that 99% of the stuff I burned was really a 'watch-once and never again' thing and went out to get one of those 2.5" 1TB external hard drives.

    Haven't burned another DVD since.
  • rqle - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    too much proprietary peripherals, if i am going to use a PCIe card, I might as well just stick with a revodrive. pcie slots, proprietary slots connectors, proprietary cable, proprietary disk drive interface, blah. ill just stick with their own revodrive for now and wait for sata or sas controllers to pick up speed.
  • jo-82 - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    SAS cabels aren't that expensive these days, and the most companies who would by one of these use them today anyway.

    And good luck waiting the next 3-5 years or so for SATA 12GB ;)
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - link

    Gb, not GB

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