Higher-capacity, 34nm Intel SSDs may arrive in Q4

Intel seems to be taking a measured approach to its debut in the solid-state drive market, offering neither record-breaking capacities nor rock-bottom prices. However, a roadmap nabbed by VR-Zone suggests Intel does have plans to broaden its SSD line with higher-capacity (and perhaps more affordable) models.

The roadmap says eight X-series SSDs will roll out in the fourth quarter, and VR-Zone comments that those drives will all use 34nm flash memory chips—a sizeable shrink compared to current chips, which Intel manufactures using 55nm process technology. The smaller process could help keep costs down.

Capacity-wise, Intel will supposedly introduce 80GB, 160GB, and 320GB drives in its mainstream 2.5" X25-M series. The same capacities will be available in a refreshed 1.8" X18-M series, while Intel's single-level-cell-based X25-E series will only reach up to 128GB. The chipmaker won't release an updated version of the 32GB X25-E, either.

Last, but not least, VR-Zone says Intel is cooking up a successor to Turbo Memory technology for the first quarter of 2010. The roadmap describes this product as "Braidwood Integrated Non-Volatile Cache," and it names 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB variants.

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