Intel To Push SSD Capacity At End Of The Year Page: 1

When one considers what SSD to purchase, two main concerns crop up: price and capacity.  The sheer speed of Intel's drives have allowed them to fend for themselves in the former.  However, in the case of the latter Intel has lagged behind, with the likes of OCZ having released drives with capacities reaching 1TB.  Well it seems Intel is looking to change that, with refreshes of their enterprise and mainstream SSD lines coming near the end of the year.

The updated Extreme enterprise series drives, codenamed Lyndonville, will utilize 34nm MLC flash and offer capacities of 100GB, 200GB, and 400GB.  The use of MLC flash seems a bit odd seeing as SLC is supposed to be far more reliable and faster.  Perhaps the decision was made in the interest of keeping prices lower.  With current X25-E SLC drives costing almost four times as much as their mainstream MLC counterparts, pushing out SLC drives of much higher capacities might just be too cost-prohibitive.  Intel might have decided the cost would be better spent on improved controllers and firmware.

Intel's mainstream SSD line refresh, Postville, will also bring about a process shrink and capacity increase.  Utilizing 20nm MLC flash, the 2.5" X25-M models will be available in 160GB, 300GB, and 600GB capacities while the 1." X18-M models will come out in 160GB and 300GB varieties.  The entry level X25-V series drive will also get a bump in capacity to 80GB.

Both line updates are expected to hit the market in the fourth quarter of this year.  So far there is no word on possible pricing, though with the process shrinks it might not be as bad as one might think.