updated 04:00 pm EDT, Wed October 15, 2008
Intel announces SSDs
Intel has begun shipping the first of its high-performance SATA solid state drives, claiming a 100 percent boost in read/write performance and substantial energy savings over conventional hard drives. Aimed at the server and workstation market, the 32GB X-25E drops into the hard drive bay in a notebook or some desktops and servers and is designed for both performance users and intense work tasks such as medical imaging and digital simulation. A 64GB model is expected to be available early next year.
Intel claims a single SSD can replace several high-speed conventional drives in a desktop or a server, providing more speed at a fraction of the energy. Using IOPS (input/output per second) as a benchmark, Intel says the 32GB model can achieve 35,000 IOPS in random reads, 3,300 IOPS in random writes, and just 75 microseconds (0.075 milliseconds) read latency. The drive can reach up to 250 MB/s sequential read speeds and up to 170 MB/s sequential write speeds, in many cases outpacing desktop hard drives as well as those from notebooks.
The 2.5-inch form factor drive uses 50nm single-cell NAND flash memory and 10-channel architecture with Native Command Queuing. The company says the X-25E produces 38 percent less heat while using 90 percent less power than spinning hard drives. Intel is promising its enterprise customers a a highly-reliable product capable of writing up to four petabytes of data in a three-year period, or about 3.7TB a day.
The 32GB X-25E is available now for about $700 in quantities under 1000. Resellers should make the drive available individually but have their own control over ship dates.