Intel 313 Series SSDs Launching Soonby Kristian Vättö on February 22, 2012 1:28 PM EST
Intel 313 Series SSDs (also known as "Hawley Creek") were originally scheduled for Q4'11 release but obviously they were delayed. VR-Zone is now claiming that the release will take place alongside the Ivy Bridge processors and the 7-series chipsets. That could mean an April release, though there are also rumors of a delayed IVB launch. Either way, here's a quick rundown of the upcoming 313 SSDs.
The 313 Series is the successor of the 311 Series (or Larson Creek if you prefer codenames), which is a 20GB SLC NAND SSD meant for caching with Intel's Z68 chipset with Smart Response Technology (SRT). SRT will be even more useful with the Ivy Bridge platform because there will be widespread support among the 7-series chipsets: two of the three consumer desktop chipsets (Z77 and H77) will feature SRT, along with one of the business chipsets (Q77). We will also finally see mobile chipsets with support for SRT.
The major change with the 313 Series is that it will switch to 25nm SLC NAND and offer a 24GB model, but otherwise we are looking at a product very similar to 311 Series. The controller is Intel's own, but that's all we know for certain. Most likely the controller is the same as in 310, 311, and 320 Series, i.e. Intel PC29AS21BA0, because Intel's roadmap shows no plans for any other SATA 3Gb/s SSDs. It wouldn't make much sense to make a new SATA 3Gb/s controller just for one product, or to create a new SATA 3Gb/s controller in general at this point. Unfortunately we don't have any performance figures but given that the controller should be the same, the performance should be on par with 311 Series—the 24GB model should have slightly higher write speeds as it uses six NAND channels while the 20GB model uses only five.
|Comparison of Intel 311 Series and 313 Series|
|NAND||Intel 25nm SLC||Intel 34nm SLC|
|Interface||SATA 3Gb/s||SATA 3Gb/s|
|Controller||Intel PC29AS21BA0 (?)||Intel PC29AS21BA0|
|Form Factors||2.5", mSATA||2.5", mSATA|
|Random Read||N/A||37K IOPS|
|Random Write||N/A||3.3K IOPS|
As for pricing, VR-Zone is claiming a suggested retail price of $99 (20GB) and $119 (24GB). For comparison 20GB 311 Series had an MRSP of $110 and retails for ~$120 now, so a ~$10 price drop sounds plausible. A few German retailers have already listed the 24GB model and it's selling for around €104 without tax, which translates to ~$138, but Euro prices tend to run higher than USD. Moreover, one of the sellers is listing availability as 2-3 weeks so 313 Series may hit the retail channel sooner than April. However, some of the retailers are listing the SSDs as OEM models, which explains the early availability and possibly high pricing as well.