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OCZ Vertex 4 SSD review update

Posted 07 May 2012 15:00 CET by Wendy Robertson

OCZ Vertex 4 SSD hardware.

Let's take a closer look at the hardware.

Drive internals

OCZ Vertex 4 512GB SSD (PCB top-side)

On the top side of the PCB, we can see eight MLC NAND chip packages, and the first of two 512MB of SDRAM cache packages. We can also see what are thought to be channel muxing chips to provide optimum throughput to the NAND array.

OCZ Vertex 4 512GB SSD (PCB underside)

On the underside of the PCB we can see another eight NAND chips, the Indilinx Everest 2 controller, and the second 512MB of cache. Note the strange orientation of the Everest 2 controller. OCZ didn’t place it that way just to be different, and there are sound engineering principles why the controller is orientated in this fashion.

Placing the controller in the centre of the PCB and placing it at an offset angle allows the distance to each of the NAND chips to be minimised. The shorter the distance a signal has to travel, then the faster it will be and will be less prone to picking up noise which then degrades the signal, as a degraded signal will then require greater error correction. So orientating the controller in this fashion has technical advantages.

Indilinx Everest 2 SSD platform controller.

Above we can see the brand new 400 series Indilinx Everest 2 SSD processor, designated IDX400M00-BC on the OCZ Vertex 4 series of SSDs.

Intel 25nm MLC NAND

The OCZ Vertex 4 series 512GB SSD has 512GB of Intel ONFI 2 synchronous MLC NAND onboard, with a life expectancy of 5000 P/E cycles, and a user capacity of 476GB.

Micron DDR3 SDRAM cache

Above we can see the cache chips that are fitted to the OCZ Vertex 4. They consist of two 800MHz DDR3 SDRAM chip packages manufactured by Micron, each chip has a capacity of 512MB giving a total of 1GB of cache. The cache provides a stable read and write buffer for the Everest 2 controller, and also provides space for things such as deferred writes, and other housekeeping tasks.

Advanced feature set

  • Broadest NAND flash support, including 1xnm and TLC
  • Up to 8 NAND flash channels with up to 16-way interleaving per channel
  • Up to 550 MB/s transfer rates when using synchronous NAND
  • HyperQueueing™ and Native Command Queuing (NCQ), with a queue depth up to 32 commands, and algorithms to optimize the order in which read and write operations are executed
  • Up to 8Gb (1GB) of 800MHz DDR2/DDR3 DRAM cache support
  • Multi-Level ECC with 128-bit correction capability per 1KB of data
  • RNA Redundant NAND Array to protect against catastrophic NAND flash failure
  • True end-to-end data path protection performs data integrity checks at every juncture where data is transmitted, received, processed and stored to ensure that corrupted data will be detected and not propagated
  • Power fail protection and optional Supercap support prevents data loss in the event of a power failure
  • Auto encryption and AES-256 encryption to protect and secure data
  • Additional flash management techniques such as TRIM, background garbage collection, dynamic and static wear-leveling and advanced flash defect management

 

Let’s head to the next page where we take a look at our testing methods and the review PC.