Storage

Intel to roll out new low-cost and high-end SSDs

Intel will release a $120 solid-state disk (SSD) drive positioned as a server “boot drive” with only 40GB of capacity, but the drive could also be used in low-end laptops PCs and netbooks.

Intel is also planning a new line of enterprise-class SSDs with 50GB, 100GB and 200GB capacities, which would more closely mimic the capacities of high-end hard disk drives used in servers today, an Intel representative said. Intel’s current line of enterprise-class drives, the X25-E series, have capacities of 32GB and 64GB.

The 120GB X25-V SSD, known internally as the Glen Brook drive, uses lower-cost multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash chips. The drive is currently being shipped in sample volumes among computer equipment makers and is expected to be generally available in January, said Jon Peracchi, a marketing manager at Intel.

Peracchi, who was speaking at a SSD Seminar sponsored by Bell Microproducts in Westford, Mass., said the new enterprise-class SSDs, which are based on single-level cell NAND, would represent a 40 percent price cut or about $6.50 per gigabyte over its current X25-E SSD prices. For example, the new 50GB drive is expected to have an MSRP of $350.

The new enterprise-class drives are expected to ship as samples to equipment manufacturers in April and are expected to be generally available in July, 2010.

In other SSD news, STEC plans to begin shipping next week a new enterprise-class ZeusIOPS SSD with serial-attached SCSI interface. The new drive would have a 6Gbit/sec SAS interface compared with the current 3Gbit/sec SAS SSD, according to an STEC representative. The new ZeusIOPS SAS SSD will support sequential read rates of up to 350MB/sec and write rates of 300MB/sec.

The company is also planning a new follow-on to its Mach8 SATA SSD, which will double the interface throughput to 3Gbit/sec and include support for native encryption. The Mach16 SSD drives are expected out in the second quarter of 2010, and will support read rates of 250MB/sec and write rates of 225MB/sec.

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