Intel’s SSD Plans

Intel's SSD Roadmap
  Currently Shipping Future Products
Series 310 320 510 310 320 700 700
Code Name Soda Creek Postville Refresh Elmcrest Larsen Creek Postville Refresh Lyndonville Ramsdale
Capacities (GB) 80/40 600/300/160/80/40 250/120 20 300/160/80 300/200/100 400/200
Flash 34nm MLC 25nm MLC 34nm MLC 34nm SLC 25nm MLC 25nm MLC-HET 34nm SLC
Form factor mSATA 2.5" 2.5" 2.5"/mSATA 1.8" 2.5" PCIe
Interface SATA 3Gb/s SATA 3Gb/s SATA 6Gb/s SATA 3Gb/s SATA 3Gb/s SATA 3Gb/s PCIe 2.0 (?)
Read speed (MB/s) 200 270 500 N/A 270 N/A N/A
Write speed (MB/s) 70 220 315 N/A 220 N/A N/A
4KB read (IOPs) 35000 39500 20000 N/A 39500 N/A N/A
4KB write (IOPs) 6600 23000 8000 N/A 23000 N/A N/A
Availability Now Now Now Q2'11 Q2'11 Q2'11 Q4'11

It looks like Intel has learned something from their CPU model name fiascos, though to be fair the SSD lineup naming is quite simple. The 300 series is intended for consumers, the 500 series is for enthusiasts/prosumers, and the 700 series is for enterprise customers. Let’s take each in turn.

The soon-to-be-released 320 series is the same as the 2.5” 320 series, only in a 1.8” form factor. “Lyndonville” and “Ramsdale” are set to replace the X25-E lineup, which is frankly long overdue. Unfortunately, both still list SATA 3Gbps as their interface speed, which further explains why Intel is using someone else’s controller for the 510 series. However, most enterprise customers will be stuck with SATA 3Gbps controllers for a while yet so it’s not as big of a problem. The MLC-HET flash memory is supposedly higher quality MLC for enterprise use. Sadly, we don’t have any further information about MLC-HET and how it compares with regular MLC and SLC.

There aren’t any new 500 series parts, so we’ll move to the 300 series. The 20GB 310 series “Larsen Creek” SSD is a special case intended solely for use with Intel’s SRT. That accounts for its small size as well as the use of SLC flash; we’ll have more information on it in the near future, including a full performance review. Pricing is expected to be relatively low (under $100), so with the appropriate platform it could be ideal for users on a tight budget who still want SSD performance.

Wrap-Up

As always, Intel has many irons in the fire and most are looking very interesting. From ultra-high-end enthusiast processors to low power Atoms and everything in between, they have something to sell you. They also have companion chipsets, motherboards, SSDs, wireless devices, and other odds and ends to go with their processors. It’s no surprise this business model continues to increase their revenue and net profits every year. We always look forward to the steady march of technology; we don’t yet know what 2013 and beyond will bring, but 2011 and 2012 are looking very strong for Intel. AMD’s Bulldozer and Llano certainly have their work cut out for them, but we’ll see where the chips fall in the next few months.

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  • DanNeely - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    The difference is that some of the writers at DT regularly make major gaffe's not just silly typos. Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    It is long journey to come all the way to Finland so I doubt anyone would voluntarily travel here anyway :D Reply
  • asuglax - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    I know some Sandy Bridge processors already support up to DDR3-1600. The i7-2820QM in my laptop does. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    Unofficially, yes, but official support is supposed to be DDR3-1333. Reply
  • asuglax - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    Intel has it listed as such here: http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=52227&pro... Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    What are all these official-unofficial BS? Either it supports 1600 or not? Why complicating simple things? Reply
  • Stahn Aileron - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    Probably Intel not wanting people to whine and complain when they buy DDR3-1333 that's not running at the DDR3-1600 rated speed the memory controller is spec'ed at. DDR3-1600, as far as I recall, is still considered somewhat in the upper "power user/enthusiast" realm compared to mainstream DDR3-1066 and DDR3-1333 SDRAM.

    TL;DR = lowest common denominator?
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    The official value has to work in a 100F room with the system clogged in dirt. Our systems are much less hostile environments so we can push the parts harder.

    Intel also doesn't want to toss the 1 or 2% of chips with the poorest IMCs when a few hundred extra MHz has almost no impact on normal use.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    So that's somewhat humorous: laptop chips have DDR3-1600 support with SNB, but desktop parts like the 2600K don't. Of course, laptop RAM tends to be less power hungry in the first place which might be part of it. Anyway, the *desktop* Ivy Bridge will get official DDR3-1600 support, which is something desktop Sandy Bridge doesn't have. Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    I didn't realize it was different for mobile systems. It could also be that 99% of laptops only have room for 1 dimm/channel which makes the bus signaling cleaner. Reply

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