If you've ever used a system with a SSD, you'll know the appeal. They are expensive, small and not widely available, but that doesn't mean that the technology or the drives aren't desirable.

Today Intel is announcing its SSD family:

There's the Intel Extreme SSD X25-E, which is a 2.5" drive based on SLC NAND flash in either 32GB or 64GB sizes. Sampling will be in 90 days from today, so we may see the first drives by the very end of the year.

The SLC drive delivers 250MB/s reads and 170MB/s writes.

The Intel Mainstream SSD line has two models, the 1.8" X18-M and the 2.5" X25-M. The mainstream SSDs use MLC NAND Flash and thus have slightly slower write speed (and much slower small file write speed), but halves the cost per GB and thus makes these things affordable. The X25-M drive will be available in 80GB and 160GB sizes by the end of the year. Sampling starts within the next 30 days for the 80GB models.

The mainstream drives promise up to 250MB/s reads, 70MB/s writes with a 0.15W active power and 0.06W idle power rating.

Going into 2009 you can expect larger sizes. On the SLC front I'd expect 128GB SLC drives and something in the 200 - 300GB range for MLC drives.

SSD: The Intel Way
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  • iwodo - Tuesday, August 19, 2008 - link

    Aren't we suppose to at ONFI 2.0 Stage already?

    If not, would these ONFI2.0 Chips be speedier then when used for SSD?

    I hope SATA 3.0 could come out in time.
  • erikejw - Tuesday, August 19, 2008 - link

    Seems promising but I rather buy 2 40Gb drives and run them in Raid0 and pay a little extra than have one 80Gb.
  • chizow - Tuesday, August 19, 2008 - link

    I'm also interested in the X-25M 160GB for RAID 0 in my gaming rig or my laptop. The specs look excellent compared to OCZ's Core V.2, significantly higher read but slower write. Specs are a bit disappointing though compared to the hype around these and with no availability date and pricing. I kinda expected better news from IDF about these Intel SSDs. Sampling dates 30 to 90 days out is a long time making reports of Q3 availability suspect.
  • 8steve8 - Tuesday, August 19, 2008 - link

    you should read the reviews above, STR is fine in all these SSDs, the real thing is small random writes, and intel claims to be about 20x faster. yes 20 times.
  • Staples - Tuesday, August 19, 2008 - link

    The hype was always mostly about the power savings and very little of it was ever about speed. At least that is how I see it. Another thing I am excited about is that there is hardly a reason to run a mirror raid anymore because there is virtually no chance of these drives ever crashing.

    It will be a welcome change but I doubt I will be buying one until I can get 128GB for $100. That could be years away.
  • 8steve8 - Tuesday, August 19, 2008 - link

    after reviewing 2 units in-depth

    RiData's mainstream drive:

    and OCZ's Core:

    I am excited to see intel proudly talk about small random write performance on its MLC drives.

    especially the "write amplification"
    which i assume is referring to a much smaller inert "cluster size" in the drive. the OCZ and RiDATA must have many MiB per cluster as a minimum write size.

    (hopefully not immature) props to intel.
  • DJMiggy - Tuesday, August 19, 2008 - link

    Any mention of pricing? I wonder how competitive it will be price wise.

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