Intel on Tuesday announced that it is moving to a more advanced, 34-nanometer manufacturing process for its NAND flash-based solid-state drives.
The move to 34nm will help lower prices of the SSDs up to 60 percent for computer manufacturers and consumers thanks to the reduced die size and advanced engineering design, Intel says.
The multi-level cell Intel X25-M Mainstream SATA SSD is intended for laptop and desktop PCs and available in 80GB and 160GB capacities. The Intel X25-M on 34nm flash memory is drop-in compatible with the current 50nm version and will continue to be drop-in compatible to replace existing hard disk drives, Intel says.
Compared to its previous 50nm version, Intel says the new X25-M offers improved latency (25 percent reduction) and faster random write Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) (65-microseconds, compared to approx. 4,000 microseconds of an HDD).
Random write performance increases twofold: the X-25M delivers up to 6,600 4KB write IOPS and up to 35,000 read IOPS, for faster system and application responsiveness, especially for server and workstation users in the enterprise.
New channel prices for the X25-M 80GB are $225 for quantities up to 1,000 units (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. The X18-M, in a 1.8-inch form factor, will begin shipping on 34nm later in the quarter.
Drop-in compatible with SATA-based HDDs and all operating systems, the X25-M will also support Microsoft Windows 7 when it becomes available. At that time, Intel plans to deliver a firmware update to allow support of the Windows 7 Trim command, along with an end user tool, to allow users to optimize the performance of their SSD on Windows XP and Vista operating systems.