It’s probably the most important product announcement of this IDF: Intel’s SSDs. The company is taking advantage of flash memory production capacities to enter a market that is currently exploding. Several products were announced based on NAND ONFI 1.0 chips and an SATA 2.6 3 Gb/s interface.
The first versions, called the X25-E Extreme, involve the performance line that is based on SLC version flash chips with 10 channels in parallel. This enables sequential speeds of 250 MB/s in reading and 170 MB/s in writing with an access time of 75 µs. This product line is also optimized for a server type use and capable of very high performances when there is a high level of iops. The X25-E will be available in 32 GB versions before the end of the year and a 64 GB version in early 2009.
The second line, the X25-M and X18-M, differ in their format (2.5" or 1.8"), will be based on MLC chips and have lower performances in writing. Thus, while reading speed will remain at 250 MB/s, it drops to 70 MB/s in writing. Otherwise, access time slightly increases to 85 µs although this adds very little. They will be available in 80 GB versions starting in September and in 160 GB in early 2009.
As for the reliability of these SSDs, Intel speaks of the different technology put into place in order to improve reliability and longevity and announces an MTBF of 2 million hours for the X25-E and 1.2 million for the X25-M and X18-M. No figures were given in terms of the number of writing cycles.