OCZ Acquires Indilinx SSD Controller Maker

Just a few weeks after announcing the OCZ Vertex 3 Pro and non-Pro SSDs, OCZ comes up with this. They are going to acquire a company that competes directly with the top of line SSD drive controller manufacturer. Indilinx has gained a reputation for helping ‘bring down’ prices of SSDs by making the drive controller more affordable, whereas SandForce (makers of the drive controller for Vertex 3) has kept up its margins but increased performance by a huge margin as well. I guess it makes sense to sell as many drives as you can and cater to all levels of the market. But I don’t know if it’s going to undermine OCZ’s business relationship with SandForce.

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Prior to SandForce‘s arrival, Indilinx was regarded as the leading makers of controllers for solid-state drives. The company gained both consumer and media favoritism when it demonstrated that drives based on its own controllers were competitive with lead drives made by Intel. Indilinx’s controllers allowed many SSD manufacturers to bring SSD prices down to a level where a large number of mainstream consumers started to take notice.

via OCZ Acquires Indilinx SSD Controller Maker.

This is surprising news especially following the announcement and benchmark testing of OCZ’s most recent SSD drives. They are the highest performing SATA based SSDs on the market and the boost in speed is derived primarily from their drive controller chip supplied by SandForce not Indilinx. Buying a competing manufacturer no doubt is going to disappoint their suppliers at SandForce. And I worry a bit that SandForce’s technical lead is something that even a good competitor like Indilinx won’t be able to overcome. I’m sticking with any drive that has the SandForce disk controller inside due to their track record of increasing performance and reliability with each new generation of product.

So I am of two minds, I guess it’s cool OCZ has enough power and money to provide its own drive controllers for its SSDs. But at the same time, the second place drive controller is a much slower, lower performance part than the top competitor. In future I hope OCZ is either able to introduce price variation by offering up SandForce vs. Indilinx based SSDs and charge less for Indilinx. If not, I don’t know how they will technologically achieve superiority now that SandForce has such a lead.

Author: carpetbomberz

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