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Toshiba Buys SSD Manufacturer OCZ

OCZ Technology are a California-based company that manufacturer SSDs. Towards the end of 2013 they were on the verge of bankruptcy. This is because the company were having problems acquiring the flash memory chips that it needed to manufacture the drives, which meant that they had to default on their loan agreement.

OCZ’s revenue had dropped to $33.5 in a single quarter, down from $88.6 million the previous year. However, despite the decline in revenue, their losses had shrunk by over $7 million.

Toshiba stepped in, wanting to buy the company as part of a deal with the bankruptcy court. At the time it was said that Toshiba would only acquire OCZ if the value of the business and its employees could be maintained.

That deal went through at the beginning of 2014, although further details of the acquisition were not released. As such, OCZ is now a subsidiary of Toshiba. OCZ are continuing to operate independently out of their California base.

Toshiba are a large manufacturer of flash-memory chips, which means that it will be able to provide OCZ manufacturing operations with the materials needed.

PCWorld report that Toshiba intend to keep OCZ manufacturing SATA and PCI Express consumer drives for high performance and mainstream applications, along with SATA, SAS and PCIe enterprise drives that are supported by virtualisation, cache and acceleration software.

The acquisition is perhaps most beneficial to Toshiba due to OCZ’s client list. OCZ serve both enterprise and home SSD customers, markets that Toshiba intend to keep serving.

Leaving no time to waste, OCZ soon announced a new line of SSDs. The Vertex 460 is an SSD that is available in 120GB, 240GB and 480GB capacities. The drives are expected to be priced at $100, $190 and $360 respectively. The SSDs make use of a 20-nanometer flash that is provided by Toshiba.

The new drives use OCZ’s own flash controller, the Barefoot 3 M10, along with support to AES-256 encrypt the data on the drive.

“With Toshiba’s financial strength and portfolio of leading-edge NAND flash memory, OCZ is now in an advantageous position as one of the few companies in the SSD industry with advanced controller IP and NAND flash supply under one global organization, which in turn will help enable more robust and competitive solid-state solutions going forward while expanding our market presence in the rapidly growing SSD market,” said Ralph Schmitt, chief executive for OCZ Storage Solutions.

OCZ said that it would be bundling Acronis True Image software with their drives, enabling consumers to back their data up with ease.

The Vertex drives offer up to 545MB/sec sequential reads and 525MB/s sequential writes. The drive measures up to 90,000 4K random write IOPS, plus a sustained 4K random write of up to 23,000 IOPS. The drives are designed and guaranteed for three years of use at 20GB host writes per day. However, this is vastly more than what the average consumer will use, thus the drives should last longer than stated.

Hopefully, with Toshiba’s backing, OCZ continue to sustain themselves and thrive as a SSD manufacturer.


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