Even if you can still get more storage per dollar with a traditional hard drive, the market for solid state drives is red-hot, and Intel appears intent on leading the way. It's already released a couple of new SSD families this year, and a slide leaked to Engadget shows that the chip giant plans an additional five new series for the rest of 2011, including a version that uses the PCI Express interface.
The new 510 Series SSD will be eclipsed in performance by two 700 drive lineups -- the "Lyndonville" 710 will appear first in 100GB, 200GB, and 400GB capacities using SATA 3Gbps, to be followed in the third quarter by the PCIe-based "Ramsdale" 720, which will come with 200GB or 400GB of SLC NAND flash. Both these series will be the replacements for the X-25E high-performance SSDs currently available.
In the mid-range tier, the 510 will be joined in the fourth quarter by the "Cherryville" 520, which will be available in 60GB, 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB flavors and using SATA 6Gbps. The 310 Series kicked off the latest value segment using the mSATA interface, but will soon have a bunch of siblings. Just out is the 320 Series in capacities ranging from 80GB to 600GB, and then the "Larsen Creek" drives will follow, offering 200GB of SLC flash in SATA or mSATA options. Finally, in the fourth quarter, the "Paint Creek" family will be mSATA-only, in 40GB or 80GB options.
With the Ramsdale drive, Intel will join competitor OCZ in offering a PCI Express SSD solution, which improves throughput well beyond what SATA can offer. Hopefully, Intel's new drives will continue to push prices down, as SSD still aren't much of a mainstream option -- yet.