updated 07:08 am EDT, Tue October 30, 2012
Intel delivers next-gen SSD using 20nm NAND flash fab process
Intel is now shipping its first SSDs based on its new 20nm NAND Flash memory fabrication process. Although shifting to the new process delivers manufacturing, power efficiencies, and the potential to ramp up the capacity of its SSDs, the first 335-series drive only comes in at 240GB size with no performance boost. It does, however, signal the first time Intel has been able to successfully apply its HiK/metal gate stack used in its CPU designs to NAND production.
The Intel SSD 335 uses a 6 Gb/s SATA connection to optimize its ability to perform 500 MB/s sequential reads and 450 MB/s sequential writes. The SSD is available in a 2.5-inch form factor 9.5mm case that Intel has targetted at users looking to boost the performance of an older notebook at a relatively consumer-friendly price of $210.
Buyers of the new Intel SSD 335 will also be able to download a free Intel SSD Toolbox with Intel SSD Optimizer that offers MS Windows users a set of management, information and diagnostic tools to maintain their new drive. The utility is available in 8 languages and includes support for Windows 8. The drive is also compatible with Mac OS X, when correctly formatted.