Intel has announced that its 1.8in X18-M and 2.5in X25-M solid-state drives (SSDs) are now shipping.
The drives, based on multi-level cell (MLC) technology, are available in 80GB capacities and 160GB models are expected be be available in Q4 of this year.
Intel states that its 80GB drive achieves read and write speeds of up to 250MB/s and 70MB/s, respectively. The drive is priced at $595 in thousand-unit quantities and Intel expects it to arrive in end-customer products in the coming weeks.
Hold on, $595? That's a bit more than we'd hoped, and there are cheaper alternatives from some of the competition. However, preliminary performance tests prove the old adage; you get what you pay for.
As you're no doubt aware, SSDs feature no moving parts and provide benefits such as reduced performance bottlenecks and quieter operation. Intel's own lab tests state that its SSDs increase storage-system performance as much as nine times over traditional hard disks.
Randy Wilhelm, Intel vice president and general manager of the NAND Products Group, said:
Validated by our rigorous testing and OEM customer feedback, we believe that we have developed an SSD that delivers on the promises of SSD computing. By combining our experience in flash memory design with our processor and computing expertise, we have added advances such as our parallel 10-channel architecture, proprietary controller, firmware and memory management algorithms that address write amplification and wear levelling issues to redefine SSD performance and reliability for computing platforms.
We're all expecting SSDs to become the long-term replacement for traditional hard drives, and Intel's arrival on the market coupled with dropping prices should only speed up the transition.
Official press release: INTEL INTRODUCES SOLID-STATE DRIVES FOR NOTEBOOK AND DESKTOP COMPUTERS