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OCZ Teases Faster SSD Controller, Remains Mum on Rumors

By - Source: SeekinAlpha | B 36 comments

OCZ is making a lot of waves these days. In its CQ2 conference call, the company confirmed that its Barefoot controller should be returning in sample form from the contract fab shortly.

There were encouraging news about its business situation as well, and Seagate is now rumored to be in talks to acquire the company.

CEO Ryan Petersen told analysts the next-generation Barefoot 3 controller is on TSMC's production lines and samples may become available in the coming weeks. Sample shipments should be taking place by August or September and full availability is scheduled for the fourth calendar quarter. Petersen said that Barefoot 3 "will support a significant performance increase over [OCZ's] current products". It integrates OCZ's 400 MHz Aragon processor to run "an SSD specific risk instruction set, allowing most instructions and branches to be executed in a single cycle." The executive promised "a world of new possibilities for game changing SSD solutions as it supports unprecedented levels of processing power."

Aside barefoot 3, OCZ said that it had almost $140 million in bookings in the second quarter and a revenue increase of 54 percent over the same quarter last year. A big portion of OCZ's sales came from the Vertex 4 and Agility 4 SSDs, which shipped more than 100,000 units during the quarter. However, the company said that the PSU business is problematic due to "headwinds in terms of both revenue and gross margins, as sales of desktop PCs which use these products continue to dwindle."

There was some speculation that OCZ may be acquired by Seagate in the near future. In fact, OCZ has been streamlining its business lately and has trimmed its quarterly loss to $6.3 million in CQ2, down from $9.1 million last year. OCZ's cash base has been cut more in half from the first quarter and now stands at just $43.2 million. OCZ's market cap has increased by almost 30 percent over the past week based on the acquisition rumors, and lifted the company's stock value to about $405 million.

Neither Seagate nor OCZ commented on the rumors.

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  • 12 Hide
    unksol , July 22, 2012 2:25 PM
    Quote:
    Well if they could come up with a way to automatically apply firmware updates (although I do not know how it would happen exactly), then I see now problems in this regard. I kind of wish BIOS and firmware updates were automatically applied.


    You mean you want OCZ automatically applying automatic destruction firmware flashes and destroying your Data with no warning? Or.bricking your SSD?

    Why not just use.a good controller, good firmware, and release a good SSD? you know. Like Samsung
  • 10 Hide
    apache_lives , July 22, 2012 1:08 PM
    OCZ instead of making a faster SSD, hows about making one that is reliable and works FIRST go not requiring 10+ firmware updates to "fix" i expect things to work out of the box its a joke.
  • 10 Hide
    unksol , July 22, 2012 1:36 PM
    "OCZ teases new SSD controller release, higher speeds by 2013: reliable firmware anticipated by 2015"

    Quote:
    an SSD specific risk instruction set, allowing most instructions and branches to be executed in a single cycle


    Normally I'd expect it to be a RISC instruction set, but with OCZ I'm willing to believe it's a "risk" instruction set. makes sense with them, and after all it's a quote from the CEO
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    apache_lives , July 22, 2012 1:08 PM
    OCZ instead of making a faster SSD, hows about making one that is reliable and works FIRST go not requiring 10+ firmware updates to "fix" i expect things to work out of the box its a joke.
  • -9 Hide
    RazorBurn , July 22, 2012 1:16 PM
    If ever Seagate acquires OCZ, and brings its Great Realibility for their SSD.. All my future SSD purchases will go with it..
  • 10 Hide
    unksol , July 22, 2012 1:36 PM
    "OCZ teases new SSD controller release, higher speeds by 2013: reliable firmware anticipated by 2015"

    Quote:
    an SSD specific risk instruction set, allowing most instructions and branches to be executed in a single cycle


    Normally I'd expect it to be a RISC instruction set, but with OCZ I'm willing to believe it's a "risk" instruction set. makes sense with them, and after all it's a quote from the CEO
  • 6 Hide
    thuan , July 22, 2012 1:40 PM
    #Correction:
    an SSD specific RISC instruction set

    Still even with that correction what the CEO talked is more about PR than actual technology. There's no SSD specific instruction set. there's only instruction set optimized for SSD.
  • 9 Hide
    jaquith , July 22, 2012 1:48 PM
    I've seen enough 'storage' mergers for my comfort level, and I see no upside as a consumer. My concern is another opportunity for increasing the prices.

    Samsung currently is the only company that manufactures both its Controllers & NAND. So it makes me wonder what acquisition Seagate is targeting now for NAND manufacturing.
  • 12 Hide
    unksol , July 22, 2012 2:25 PM
    Quote:
    Well if they could come up with a way to automatically apply firmware updates (although I do not know how it would happen exactly), then I see now problems in this regard. I kind of wish BIOS and firmware updates were automatically applied.


    You mean you want OCZ automatically applying automatic destruction firmware flashes and destroying your Data with no warning? Or.bricking your SSD?

    Why not just use.a good controller, good firmware, and release a good SSD? you know. Like Samsung
  • 5 Hide
    shin0bi272 , July 22, 2012 2:28 PM
    jaquithI've seen enough 'storage' mergers for my comfort level, and I see no upside as a consumer. My concern is another opportunity for increasing the prices.Samsung currently is the only company that manufactures both its Controllers & NAND. So it makes me wonder what acquisition Seagate is targeting now for NAND manufacturing.

    in the late 1800's and early 1900's Carnegie's U.S. Steel held 96% of all steel manufacturing in the US (and the US had almost 40% of the worlds steel production). He was able to bring the price of steel down from over 200 dollars a ton to 14. So the fears everyone has of monopolies are not always grounded in reality but progressive politician propaganda.
  • 3 Hide
    memadmax , July 22, 2012 2:29 PM
    kaisellgrenWell if they could come up with a way to automatically apply firmware updates (although I do not know how it would happen exactly), then I see now problems in this regard. I kind of wish BIOS and firmware updates were automatically applied.


    That leaves so many security holes open, and more crap will be needed to patch those security holes...
    No thanks.
  • 2 Hide
    memadmax , July 22, 2012 2:35 PM
    shin0bi272in the late 1800's and early 1900's Carnegie's U.S. Steel held 96% of all steel manufacturing in the US (and the US had almost 40% of the worlds steel production). He was able to bring the price of steel down from over 200 dollars a ton to 14. So the fears everyone has of monopolies are not always grounded in reality but progressive politician propaganda.


    Thats more true than you realize. Now a days, any time some government "regulation" comes out for some sector of the economy, it's because some company somewhere had enough money to lobby for it and the "regulation" becomes a weapon to snuff out the competition. The earliest signs of this happening was during the "cattle and butcher wars" in chicago during the early 1900's. A few companies payed off the politicians and had them pass "health laws" that successfully destroyed almost the entire industry there(ma and pa stores that sold beef products on corners, cut the stuff in front of you so you knew what you were getting).... Obamacare is another perfect example of this: Big insurance companies dumped millions into lobbying for it. Now that the law has passed, a few hundred of the smaller health insurance companies have already been shuttered, with a couple thousand workers now unemployed....
  • 0 Hide
    omnimodis78 , July 22, 2012 3:38 PM
    memadmax...Obamacare is another perfect example of this: Big insurance companies dumped millions into lobbying for it. Now that the law has passed, a few hundred of the smaller health insurance companies have already been shuttered, with a couple thousand workers now unemployed....

    Just so we're clear, I'm from Canada so your country's strategy to get out of it's massive (and embarrassing levels of debt) has little meaning to me, but seriously, this "Obamacare" is still being tossed around down there? You have a president who sees the numbers and knows where those numbers are headed (more national debt) and understands the fundamental contradiction between what should be happening and what is happening (in other words, recognizes the social and economic hypocrisy), and yet you short-term thinking Americans are bashing him for it? Very interesting, though not at all surprising. You should also take a good close look at all the countries that finance some sort of universal health care, guess what, we're not broke, in fact, we're doing rather well.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_health_care
  • 3 Hide
    mayne92 , July 22, 2012 3:48 PM
    RazorBurnIf ever Seagate acquires OCZ, and brings its Great Realibility for their SSD.. All my future SSD purchases will go with it..

    You are kidding right? Seagate is trash.
  • 3 Hide
    mayne92 , July 22, 2012 4:02 PM
    omnimodis78Just so we're clear, I'm from Canada so your country's strategy to get out of it's massive (and embarrassing levels of debt) has little meaning to me, but seriously, this "Obamacare" is still being tossed around down there? You have a president who sees the numbers and knows where those numbers are headed (more national debt) and understands the fundamental contradiction between what should be happening and what is happening (in other words, recognizes the social and economic hypocrisy), and yet you short-term thinking Americans are bashing him for it? Very interesting, though not at all surprising. You should also take a good close look at all the countries that finance some sort of universal health care, guess what, we're not broke, in fact, we're doing rather well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_health_care

    You serious? I'm just wondering what Canada has to offer the world besides a failing RIM and AMD? Maybe spend more money on your defense of your Royal Canadian Mounted Police? The US should go the way of other countries who are in such rough shape like Greece? No thanks.

    Since you obviously know Obama so well, could you clue us in what his economic policy is right now and what he is thinking? Maybe how he is feeling?

    Thanks, but maybe you Canadians should just stick to hockey and your socialized healthcare ( that blows as every Canadian I talk to says that they have to come to the US for quality treatment).
  • 0 Hide
    mayne92 , July 22, 2012 4:13 PM
    Oh, so OCZ actually use Indilinx silicon this time? The next drive won't be "Barefoot infused"?

    I loved it when customers went to the OCZ forums to confront OCZ reps that the Vertex/Agility 4 uses Marvell silicon and they got all pissy saying that we really shouldn't care about what is under the hood just so long as it works great. Nothing like being duped through good marketing.
  • 3 Hide
    CaedenV , July 22, 2012 5:04 PM
    omnimodis78Just so we're clear, I'm from Canada so your country's strategy to get out of it's massive (and embarrassing levels of debt) has little meaning to me, but seriously, this "Obamacare" is still being tossed around down there? You have a president who sees the numbers and knows where those numbers are headed (more national debt) and understands the fundamental contradiction between what should be happening and what is happening (in other words, recognizes the social and economic hypocrisy), and yet you short-term thinking Americans are bashing him for it? Very interesting, though not at all surprising. You should also take a good close look at all the countries that finance some sort of universal health care, guess what, we're not broke, in fact, we're doing rather well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_health_care

    If Obama had an economic policy and we could trust that such a policy would not change in 6mo, then we would not be in half the mess we are in (still a mess though, the Prez doesn't control everything). Businesses rely on accurate predictable fiscal policy in order to make long term decisions, and to head towards long term growth. Having a Gov't where we simply do not know what directions things are headed causes the people with money to hold back (as they should) instead of taking risks in expanding into other fields and venues. I am not saying that 'Bamster-care is good or bad, but the fact that it was so close, and that there was/is no way to know what effect it would have on the economy (because neither side read the bill, and those who read it did not understand it), made it a massive roadblock to progress. Now that it is passed (even though I completely disagree with it) we should leave it be, we need leadership that simply stops stiring the pot, and does the expected, so that we can just do what we do.

    Also, it is not Obamacare, Obama did not write it, Obama does not agree with it, and Obama knows absolutely nothing about economics or the healthcare system. Obama pushed for a single-payer system, which he did not get. All he did was see this bill as closer to his ideal than the current system, so he signed it (and did the normal rig-a-ma-roll of pushing the party line, but that is his job, not his opinion). Conservatives are morons for believing that Obama had anything more to do with it than that. Liberals are morons to think that what passed will be any better than what has already been in place.

    Every last politician should be thrown in jail for spending such massive amounts of debt on things which have only slowed down the crash (and recovery) instead of making intelligent decisions which could have avoided the problems in the first place. Because frankly this housing crash was seen coming a mile away (granted not the extreme consequences of it), and the next crash that will come when everyone finally retires will be much worse (what happens to the stock market and the companies who are on it when more than 50% of it's investors begin withdrawing to live on their savings rather than putting money into the market?!?), and NOBODY is talking about how to fix that yet.

    Vote Caeden Vintori for President,
    I don't know what the hell I am doing, but I can't be worse than the people in office now :D 
  • 3 Hide
    CaedenV , July 22, 2012 5:18 PM
    @ article
    Sweet! I welcome faster SSDs! Current SSDs are fast only in specific situations, but for most uses they do not even saturate SATA II standard yet (running only at 120-160MBps, when SATA II can go up to 200+MBps). But more important than speed will be higher capacities and finally killing off HDD technology. SSDs are the key to useful cloud technologies because it is so much cooler, faster, and more compact (and potentially more reliable) than HDD tech. This allows much lower latency for the ability of information and services to much larger audiences, while drastically lowering the power and cooling costs of data centers.
    This will ultimately push internet companies to provide much faster bandwidth, which will lower the cost of 20-40Mbps connections that are currently available (and are frankly fast enough for most of us), and will push the development of 100Gbps and terabit Ethernet on the high end, which will push 10Gbps Ethernet down to the home user level which will let me have my home video-editing server that I am waiting for (because Gigabit, and even duel Gigabit really isn't fast enough... Though 4Gbps would be satisfactory), and frankly HDD technology is not going to push networking tech hard enough to force companies to move up.
    If I can get a 10Gbps server in my house I would be happy; If I can fill it with silent 2TB SSDs then I will be in Hog Heaven :D 
  • -3 Hide
    blazorthon , July 22, 2012 6:11 PM
    omnimodis78Just so we're clear, I'm from Canada so your country's strategy to get out of it's massive (and embarrassing levels of debt) has little meaning to me, but seriously, this "Obamacare" is still being tossed around down there? You have a president who sees the numbers and knows where those numbers are headed (more national debt) and understands the fundamental contradiction between what should be happening and what is happening (in other words, recognizes the social and economic hypocrisy), and yet you short-term thinking Americans are bashing him for it? Very interesting, though not at all surprising. You should also take a good close look at all the countries that finance some sort of universal health care, guess what, we're not broke, in fact, we're doing rather well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_health_care


    Obama has made our national debt rise trillions while putting more and more people out of business and into unemployment, where many of them then leech off of the people who are still working, thus exacerbating the situation even more in an exponential, downwards spiral. Do you really think that he and the rest of the USA government are doing what's best for the USA?

    Regardless, this is off-topic.

    Why doesn't OCZ just make a cut-down and slightly modified version of their Kilimanjaro controller for their next high-performance controller? It shouldn't be more difficult than making a whole new controller or trying to scale an inferior controller upwards. We already know that it works excellently, so I don't see why OCZ doesn't simply make a scaled-down version for SATA 6Gb/s.
  • 5 Hide
    slabbo , July 22, 2012 6:22 PM
    mayne92You are kidding right? Seagate is trash.


    He's right, Seagate is pretty crappy. And it doesn't help that they bought out Maxtor which was the worst of the worst. WD > Seagate.
  • 1 Hide
    tului , July 22, 2012 6:32 PM
    I buy Intel now as it is, but if Seagate ever gets their grimy paws on OCZ, they won't even be on the table for consideration.
  • 1 Hide
    apache_lives , July 22, 2012 9:52 PM
    RazorBurnIf ever Seagate acquires OCZ, and brings its Great Realibility for their SSD.. All my future SSD purchases will go with it..


    Go look into the Seagate 7200 10 series HDD and there 'bricked' firmware before telling me a seagate hdd is reliable.
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