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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  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    Ah, that could be the reason. I know some laptops that will sell you DDR3-1600, but only if you don't use four DIMMs (look at the mobile workstations from Dell and HP). Still, it's odd considering enthusiasts have run far higher than DDR3-1600 speeds. Oh well. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    It'll be interesting to see what Intel does with the added die space that 3D manufacturing gives them. Already, the largest singular part of SNB is the GPU, dwarfing the size of any individual CPU core. Hopefully we'll get something that's better than their previous offerings. Reply
  • duploxxx - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    probably the GPU performance will enhance a lot, lets hope they get into the range of basic gaming gpu, but the main problem is that by the time that IVY arrives the AMD APU Fusion series will also have launched there second gen, and it is known already that this will be much more powerfull. Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    It's not just that, by the time IB has launched TSMC should have it's 28nm process working which means that AMD/nVidia's discrete cards will be twice as fast (twice the transistor density) leaving the IGPs back in the dust again.

    SB's IGP wouldn't look as good as it did if TSMC's 32 nm process hadn't been scrapped giving intel a half node advantage. They'll have the same with IB, but only going from 12 to 16 EUs makes it likely they're using a big chunk of the gain to cut costs instead of boosting performance.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - link

    It doesn't matter how fast IGP's are compared to discrete graphics (it never has been). What matters is if the IGP allows for playable framerates at common desktop/notebook resolutions (we're talking 1280X1024 19" and similar widescreen resolutions). People with 1080p and higher resolutions won't be gaming on these, the other 95% of people that go to Best Buy and Dell to get a system will be.

    And we need these "awesome" IGP's now. They maintain the bottom teir graphics that development houses still have to cater too (and consoles). Once those graphics capabilities become "good enough" for moderate resolutions the game makers can finally start cranking up the graphics quality and giving these new cards a workout.

    I've never gamed on an IGP and never plan too, but I understand just how important they are to us gamers.
    Reply
  • brokenbeaker - Saturday, May 07, 2011 - link

    3D doesn't give them extra spece, it's the process shrink that does that. 3D gives them higher "on" current and less leakage current. Reply
  • Drazick - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    When Intel get back to the SSD Controllers business?
    Will we see Intel Based Controller SSD this year?

    Thanks.
    Reply
  • imaheadcase - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    That is the one everyone wants, less power/cheaper.. Reply
  • Marlin1975 - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    Let me guess, those that bought X67/8 chipsets will have to buy another board to use IB?

    Not that intel would ever do that.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link

    X67/68 do not exist. Z68 will come out soon, and like P67/H67 and a few others we mention, they will support Ivy Bridge with the appropriate firmware/BIOS updates. (That will be more a factor of the motherboard manufacturers taking time to update the firmware than anything.) X58 will be replaced by X79, which as we noted in an earlier article is a completely different socket. Reply

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