Feeds

Intel in (halfhearted) SSD boost

Faster. Cheaper. And, well, that's it

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

In a limited announcement that wrong-foots expectations, Intel has moved just one of its solid state drives to a 34nm process technology, making it faster and cheaper without increasing capacity.

Intel's existing X25-M and X18-M products come in 80 and 160GB capacities and use 2-bit multi-level cell technology on a 50nm process. The 32GB and 64GB X25-E is a single-level cell SSD which is faster than the MLC products. Commentators have been expecting the whole range to move to 34nm process technology, facilitating a doubling of capacity and higher speed.

Instead, only the X25-M has immediately moved to the 34nm process. Sure, it's faster. And it's also had a price cut. But as before, it only comes in 80 and 160GB versions. Naturally, it's drop-in compatible with the current version. It has a 25 per cent reduction in latency to 65 microseconds. Write performance for the 80GB version is doubled to 6,400 4KB IOPS, with up to 35,000 read IOPS. The 160GB product gets its write IOPS boosted slightly higher, to 8,600 IOPS.

A second generation 34nm X18-M is nearly ready. It will begin shipping later in the quarter, and we understand that its performance characteristics should be the same as the X25-M.

Intel has not announced a doubled capacity 320GB SSD (X25-M or X18-M) product at 34nm. Nor has it said anything about a 34nm X25-E product. Both were simply left out of the announcement. As the 34nm X18-M is going to ship later this quarter this implies that any 34nm X25-E or 320GB X25/18-M products will happen in the fourth quarter at the earliest. This is just a few weeks away, and our reading of the situation is that both of them have been pushed out to 2010.

The X25-E's performance is 35,000 random 4KB read IOPS and 3,300 4KB write IOPS, which means the generation 2 X25-M is faster for write IOPS and equivalent for read IOPS. Surely, Intel must have made X25-Es on the 34nm process. If it has and there is no product announcement, then it looks as if its performance is not up to snuff and Intel needs to tune it.

The X25-M will support Microsoft Windows 7 when it becomes available. At that time, Intel plans to deliver a firmware update to allow support of the Windows 7 Trim command, along with an end-user tool to allow users to optimize the performance of their SSD on Windows XP and Vista operating systems. That will be welcome.

Channel prices for the X25-M 80GB are $225 for quantities up to 1,000 units. This compares to the original introduction price of $595 a year ago. The 160GB version is also cheaper, at $440, compared to $945 at introduction. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
Disaster Recovery upstart joins DR 'as a service' gang
Quorum joins the aaS crowd with DRaaS offering
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.