Intel Ships Third-Generation Solid-State Drives

Posted on March 28, 2011 By Stuart Johnston

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Intel Monday announced availability of its latest line of solid-state drives (SSD), which replaces the company's earlier X25-M SATA (Serial ATA) SSDs.

The new SSDs -- dubbed the Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) SSD 320 Series -- take advantage of 25 nm NAND flash technology. They also add new features such as increased security, including 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard support, as well as upgraded power management capabilities, such as redundant storage in case of power failure.

Available now, the SSD 370 Series come in 40, 80, 120, and 160 GB sizes as well as 300 and 600 GBs, the company said in a statement.

Intel's pitching the new, third-generation SSD line as delivering greater space with higher access speeds for less money.

"Our third-generation SSDs have larger capacities and performance improvements while providing better reliability and data protection, along with a 30 percent price drop," an Intel spokesperson told InternetNews.com.

Intel first delivered the X25-M SDD drives during the summer of 2008.

The first generation SSDs were built in a joint venture with Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU), using then-new 34 nm technology. After a slightly bumpy start, however, they have done very well, according to the company. The new line is targeted at everyone from consumers to PC enthusiasts to IT organizations.

The SSD 320 Series is designed for both desktop and laptop PCs and, because they are solid state, are more rugged than hard disk drives (HDD).

"An upgrade from an HDD to an Intel SSD can give users one of the single-best performance boosts, providing an up to 66 percent gain in overall system responsiveness," the Intel statement said.

The SSD 320 Series uses a 3 gbps SATA II to interface with what the company claims is more than a billion SATA II PCs worldwide. The drives can handle 39,500 input/output operations per second (IOPS) on random reads and 23,000 IOPS for random writes, the company said.

Overall, the SSDs deliver sequential write speeds as high as 220 MB per second (MBps), and read speeds as high as 270 MBps.

As for price, the 40 GB SSD costs $89 in thousand-unit lots, while 80 GB drives run $159. Additionally, the 120 GB SSDs are $209 and 160 GB cost $$289. At the high end, 300 GB drives cost $529, while the 600 GB drives run $1,069.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.


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