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OCZ Vector 256GB SSD review: with Indilinx Barefoot 3

First SSD from OCZ with proprietary controller


Indilinx Barefoot 3

The Vector SSDs are built around the Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller. We've gotten used to the fact that manufacturers refuse the divulge the exact details about the inner workings of their SSD controllers. Apparently they really don't want the competition to know. Still, the most important qualities were revealed by OCZ.

The Barefoot 3 is based on the ARM-core from the Cortex generation, completed with a co-processor that can provide specific storage tasks. That co-processor is called Aragoni by OCZ. The integrated SATA-interface works according the Serial ATA 600 standard. The flash controller is suitable for both flash chips according to the ONFI standard (used by Intel/Micron) and for Toggle flash (used by Toshiba, Samsung and SanDisk). Like other popular SSD controllers, the Barefoot 3 can control eight flash chips in parallel.

The controller can make use of buffer memory, for that it has an integrated memory controller that supports both DDR2 and DDR3. The Barefoot 3 has an integrated ECC engine as well. The important TRIM command is of course completely supported by the Barefoot 3. The chip does not employ compression tricks like the LSI SandForce chips.

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