OCZ Confirms Octane and Vertex 4 use Marvell based Siliconby Anand Lal Shimpi on April 11, 2012 3:22 PM EST
I received a tip yesterday with proof that OCZ's Everest controller was actually a Marvell 88SS9174 controller (the same controller used in Crucial's m4, Intel's SSD 510, etc...) with a custom Indilinx firmware. After a bit of digging, it turns out that this is indeed the case (OCZ confirmed it to me earlier today). Although OCZ is working on non-Marvell based solutions, the Everest 1 (Octane) and indeed the Everest 2 (Vertex 4) are both based on Marvell hardware. The firmware is entirely Indilinx's own development, but the hardware is from Marvell. The hardware implementation isn't completely identical as OCZ claims its solutions run at higher clock speeds than the standard off-the-shelf Marvell components.
This doesn't really change anything but it does explain how OCZ was able to bring two revisions of Everest to market as quickly as it did after the Indilinx acquisition. OCZ and Marvell have been working very closely together for a while now and even announced a native PCIe controller they collaborated on at CES this year called Kilimanjaro. As even Intel has admitted to in the past, the value in delivering an SSD isn't always in controller hardware but rather the firmware and validation.
Update: Just to clarify, my information says the Everest 1 (Octane, Petrol) is a higher clocked Marvell 88SS9174. The Everest 2 (Vertex 4) could very well be the new Marvell 88SS9187 given its significant performance enhancements. If it is the 9187 that could tell us a lot about just how close OCZ and Marvell are, as the Vertex 4 started shipping less than a month after Marvell announced the new controller.
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Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - linkIs Everest 2 then using the brand new Marvell 88SS9187 controller?
josephjpeters - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - linkNo, this is their own design just fab'd by Marvell. It has a different clock speed as Anand mentions.
gunblade - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - linkYou're joking right? Marvell is fabless company. In this case, it is marvell designed controller with a Indilinx name on it
josephjpeters - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - linkSorry about the fab comment, I was wrong. Regardless, it's not the same controller.
jwilliams4200 - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - linkYes, the Everest 2 is very nearly identical to the Marvell 88SS9187.
iceman98343 - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - linkcan you elaborate further on this development?
josephjpeters - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - linkWhy would they just give this silicon away?
jwilliams4200 - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - linkYou're joking, right? Marvell does not give anything away. OCZ obviously pays for it.
josephjpeters - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - linkIt's not a joke because until now, OCZ has implied it was their own controller.
The next logical question is how much do they pay?
josephjpeters - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - linkAnswered my own question:
For those of you who want to know, OCZ pays the same as they would with any fab (ie. TSMC).