While most solid-state disks are squeezed into the 2.5" hard drive form factor, OCZ has been pursuing alternatives quite aggressively. The company already has 3.5" and 1.8" SSDs, and it's put flash chips on mini and full-size PCI Express cards. OCZ has now introduced the Ibis, a 3.5" solid-state drive that houses an internal RAID and connects to host systems via a new HSDL interface.
Otherwise known as the High Speed Data Link, HSDL was developed by OCZ to offer gobs of bandwidth to performance-starved users. The interface consolidates four lanes of PCI Express connectivity in a single SAS cable and purportedly offers 2-4GB/s of bandwidth. That might seem excessive given the speed of contemporary SSDs, but the Ibis is no ordinary solid-state disk. It has no fewer than four SandForce SF-1200 controllers onboard and is available in capacities up to 960GB.
AnandTech has taken a closer look at the Ibis, and its performance is impressive to say the least. The drive manages to eclipse 800MB/s with sequential reads and push nearly 675MB/s with sequential writes. Performance with random reads and writes is even more impressive—try 130,000 IOps for the latter and over 90,000 IOps for the former.
Obviously, the Ibis line is targeted at servers and workstations. Drives start at $529 for the 100GB model and range up to $2800 for the 960GB flagship. OCZ is shipping the Ibis with an HSDL card that has a single port and a PCIe x1 interface limited for gen-one speeds. An optional four-port card supports PCI Express 2.0 and looks to have an x4 interface.