34-Nanometer Flash Solid State Drives from Intel

Jul 23, 2009

The chipmaker announced its new consumer series of 34-nanometer solid stated drives (SSDs), resulting in a significant flash memory price reduction.

Intel SSD flash drive
Intel's new SSD generation trumps with its size: 34-nm chips reduce the price.

Like its 50-nm precedecessors, the X25-M drives come in 80-GByte and 160-GByte versions, in a 2.5" form factor. The price has changed dramatically. At its introduction a year ago, the 80-GByte X25-M cost $595 in quantities of a thousand; the price is now $225. The price of its bigger brother was reduced from $945 to $440.

The tiny NAND flash chip in the new SSDs reflects the combined effort announced May 2008 of Intel and Micron, called IM Flash Technologies (IMFT), with the goal of reducing the form factor to 34 nanometers. Reducing its size, they argued, would lower the price and energy usage while speeding up performance. Last October IMFT was hoping for 85-microsecond latency, but now achieved an even better 65. Hard disk drives, by contrast, have latencies in the millisecond range.

The Intel press release has fuller details on the new SSDs. Intel may also begin shipping the smaller 1.8" X18-M "later in the quarter."

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