Intel Offers Faster, Less Expensive Solid-State Storage

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print


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Intel announces new advanced solid-state drives (SSDs) that reduce costs to computer manufacturers and in turn to consumers, and at the same time they improve storage performance by reducing latency and write I/O.

Intel says it will release faster, less expensive solid-state drives for PC and laptop system builders and OEMs later this quarter, paving the way for less expensive and more energy-efficient computers for the consumer and corporate markets.

The Intel X25-M Mainstream SATA SSD will be up to 60 percent less expensive for computer manufacturers, says Intel, and will be available in 80GB and 160GB versions.

The improvements come from Intel’s move to a 34-nanometer manufacturing process from the existing 50nm process. Intel says its X25-M on 34nm flash memory is drop-in compatible with the current 50nm version, and it will continue to be drop-in compatible to replace existing hard disk drives.

Intel says the new SSDs offer a 25 percent reduction in latency and doubled random write I/O operations per second.

New channel prices for the X25-M 80 GB are $225 for quantities of up to 1,000 units, which Intel says represents a 60 percent reduction from the original introduction price of $595 a year ago. The 160GB version is $440, down from $945 at introduction for quantities up to 1,000 units. The X25-M comes in a standard 2.5-inch form factor, and the X18-M is a 1.8-inch form factor.

"Our goal was to not only be first to achieve 34nm NAND flash memory lithography, but to do so with the same or better performance than our 50nm version," says Randy Wilhelm, vice president and general manager of Intel NAND Solutions Group, in a prepared statement. "We made quite an impact with our breakthrough SSDs last year, and by delivering the same or even better performance with today's new products, our customers, both consumers and manufacturers, can now enjoy them at a fraction of the cost."

It’s a market that is expected to grow at a rapid pace. A recent report by Electronics.ca forecasts a 70 percent compound annual growth rate from 2007 through 2012 for the SSD market.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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