Feeds

Intel aims flash at tablets, netbooks

Shrunken X25-V gets m-SATA treatment

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Comment Intel has implemented its X18-M and X25-V flash products in a tablet and netbook form factor with the m-SATA SSD 310 line.

The 40GB 310 has exactly the same I/O performance as Intel's 40GB X25-V with 25,000 random read IOPS, 2,500 random-write IOPS, and 170MB/s sequential-read and 35MB/s sequential-write speeds.

Its 80GB brother has almost exactly the same I/O profile as the 80GB X18-M and X25-M with 35,000 random-read IOPS, 6,600 random-write IOPS, 70MB/s sequential-write bandwidth but 200MB/s sequential-read compared to the X18-M and X25-M's 250MB/s. That's the only difference: 50MB/s lower sequential-read bandwidth. The 310 uses the same 10-channel controller architecture as do the X18 and X25, so Intel must have left something out of the 80GB 310 compared to the 80GB X18-M and X25-M to account for the missing 50GB/s read bandwidth.

As with the X18 and X25, Intel provides a mean time before failure (MTBF) number; 1.2 million hours in the case of the 310 and equivalent-capacity X18-M and X25-V. It does not disclose the number of bits in the multi-level cell technology used in the 310 line, but we guess it's 2-bit, as the capacity levels are modest at 40GB and 80GB.

What about endurance? The 310's technical documentation states: "The Intel SSD 310 will have a minimum of five years of useful life under typical client workloads with up to 20 GB of host writes per day." It will also support 50,000 power on/off cycles.

A scan of the technical documentation shows no TRIM support.

Intel is saying that the 310 is useful as an accelerated I/O device alongside ordinary hard disk drives for tablets and netbooks, but we can't see that happening in tablets.

If a tablet manufacturer shoved a single-platter Hitachi GST ZK500 or Seagate Momentus Thin in a tablet to get 250GB of bulk capacity, and had a 40GB or 80GB 310 as well for faster I/O, then that would increase the cost of goods and complicate the operating system I/O. You would think it would be simpler for tablet manufacturers if Seagate came up with a hybrid Momentus Thin – a single-platter version of its XT, the disk drive with a small NAND cache. The drive manages what data to put in the NAND cache, not the tablet OS.

There is more space in netbooks, but there again we would think the increased cost-of-goods would argue against including a hard drive and a 310. Were Intel to produce a 160GB version of the 310, the need for a bulky hard drive alongside this natty little solid state drive (SSD) would go away for most netback applications. As tablets are thought to be even more read-intensive than netbooks, their need for high-capacity storage is less, anyway.

A combined SSD and HDD design is possibly useful for high-end thin notebooks where cost is less of a consideration.

Intel says that there will be more flash announcements following the 310. One we might look forward to would be a refresh of the X25-E single level cell (SLC) line. It could do with a speed boost and a leap to the 6Gbit/s SATA interface. Intel fab partner Micron's RealSSD P300 shows what can be done. ®

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

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Attack of the clones: Oracle's latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives
Oracle's Linux boss says Larry's Linux isn't just for Oracle apps anymore
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Reducing security risks from open source software
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.