Leaked Intel roadmap outlines SSD plans through early 2014


— 11:30 AM on July 2, 2013

VR-Zone's Chinese site has posted an official-looking roadmap outlining Intel's SSD plans into early 2014. The roadmap lists a couple of SSDs that could be of interest to enthusiasts, including the 530 Series. That drive is supposed to arrive as early as next week, and it's slated to sport 20-nm NAND. No details are given on the controller, but SandForce tech is a likely candidate.

According to the roadmap, the Intel 530 Series will be available in 2.5", mSATA, and NGFF M.2 form factors. The initial 2.5" models will apparently be limited to 180 and 240GB capacities. Drives up to 480GB are listed on the roadmap, but it's unclear how the various capacities will be spread among the various form factors.

The Intel 530 Series appears to be a replacement for the current 525 and 520 Series, which use older 25-nm NAND and come in mSATA and 2.5" flavors, respectively. I'd expect the five-year warranty coverage of the older models to persist in their apparent replacements. Otherwise, there may be little to differentiate the new drives from the current 335 Series. Admittedly, though, the 335 Series is only available in a 2.5" form factor.

Higher up the chain, Intel appears to be prepping a collection of Pro 1500 Series SSDs. The roadmap claims those drives are due shortly, and that they'll be available in a range of capacities and form factors. OPAL support is mentioned, suggesting the Pro 1500 Series will adopt the TCG Opal encryption support recently enabled by new SandForce firmware.

Intriguingly, the roadmap also shows a Pro 2500 SSD scheduled for the fourth quarter. There are no details on that drive apart from its 6Gbps SATA interface, but the model number suggests an upgrade over the Pro 1500 Series.

The last nugget of interest on the roadmap is the P3700 Series. Supposedly due in the first quarter of 2014, this drive should be the first to use the high-endurance version of Intel's 20-nm NAND. The server-grade drive will come in capacities up to 2TB, and no, you probably won't be able to afford one.

   
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