Intel details SSD plans for 2010

We met with Intel at CES last week to discuss the company’s plans for new solid-state drives in 2010. After a year that saw the X25 series make Intel the market leader in retail and e-tail, the chip giant is planning to lower prices with an eye towards moving greater SSD volumes in the mainstream market. A new generation of drives based on die-shrunk flash memory will apparently enable the next wave of discounts. Intel says its forthcoming batch of client and enterprise SSDs will use flash memory built on a 2x-nano process, although it wasn’t more specific about the fabrication tech.

While it didn’t reveal when those new drives will arrive, we can apparently expect higher capacities than are available with Intel’s existing X25-series SSDs. Support for the 6Gbps Serial ATA standard isn’t on the menu until 2011, though. That’s when Intel will have core-logic chipsets designed to take advantage of the higher transfer rates enabled by the new SATA spec.

Without a faster host interface, new Intel SSDs won’t be pushing more than 300MB/s. Intel did, however, say that it was concentrating on improving sequential write speeds to saturate the existing 3Gbps pipe. Sequential write performance has been a relative weak point for the last two generations of X25-M drives.

Since it’s focusing on mainstream adoption this year, Intel is also looking at making disk cloning easier for those who buy its drives. We’ve already seen Kingston bundle offer an easy upgrade kit that includes disk-cloning software, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Intel comes up with a similar retail kit of its own.

Comments closed
    • Sunburn74
    • 11 years ago

    2 dollars a gig. Thats all people ask. Give us an 80gb hard drive for $160 and people will jump for joy.

      • wira020
      • 11 years ago

      They’re not charity organizations lols.. I wish they’d focus more on increasing the capacity and lowering the price… instead of just making it faster and then asking for more money for it…

    • dragmor
    • 11 years ago

    Intel will lose this market if they don’t come out with SATA3 drives.

    Give me sequential around 550MB/s and random above 70MB/s and I will buy your $800 drive.

    • wagsbags
    • 11 years ago

    This is all very interesting but the performance of SSDs is not what’s keeping people from buying them. The cripping price premium is.

      • brm001
      • 11 years ago

      psst . . . stores can’t keep them on the shelves

      people aren’t being kept from buying them

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 11 years ago

        That’s because they started selling the 34nm drives way ahead of what they’d originally planned and hardly had any to go around for half a year…right up until the point when they were supposed to have originally been released. What a surprise!

        That has absolutely nothing to do with the price being reasonable or not, and everything to do with Intel trying to capitalize on early adopters.

        Same deal with desktop Core i7s and X58s. That’s just part of Intel’s business strategy as of late.

          • Farting Bob
          • 11 years ago

          Everything all SSD makers do is to capitalize on early adopters.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 11 years ago

            “Everything” is quite a stretch. This isn’t new technology anymore. Several new SSDs have /[

            • Nutmeg
            • 11 years ago

            Not really, when all you get for that price is a measly 40 gig. Seriously, 40 gig can barely hold an OS and your programs any more.

            • dragmor
            • 11 years ago

            Windows 7 is ~15GB, Office without help, samples, etc ~2GB. Photoshop ~1GB, Visual Studio ~5GB. Seems like plenty of space for a non / low gamer.

            • barich
            • 11 years ago

            I am typing this on a PC with relatively little installed on it. Vista, Office, Firefox, documents that have been accumulating since 1995, and some pictures. 82.2 GB are currently in use. Some of that is taken by System Restore/Previous Versions, but I think that 40 GB isn’t enough for anyone these days.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 11 years ago

            With all of my music and everything I need for my personal computer, it takes about 40GB.

            All of our computers at work use 20-30GB, and our database is about to move online, which will shrink it even further.

            Most people I know hardly have that much on their computers.

            I got a 64GB drive for only slightly more than $100. Nobody is making you buy the Intel scam state drive.

            • smilingcrow
            • 11 years ago

            “With all of my music and everything I need for my personal computer, it takes about 40GB.”

            I have a Win7 install with a modicum of applications and no data files and it’s taking 36GB which is rather eye opening for me as my XP install which is fully loaded but also with no data files is around 27GB.
            An extra 9GB is irrelevant for a HDD but for a SDD it can make all the difference.

            • Shining Arcanine
            • 11 years ago

            I installed Gentoo Linux on my laptop. With the graphical environment, firefox, and all of the other programs I thought I might need, it only took 4GB and this is with a bunch of temporary files still on the system from having done the installation. In addition, I compiled all of the packages (all 602 of them) with -O2 instead of -Os.

            Edit: I just cleared out the remaining temporary files. It is now at 3.41GB. I used the following guide:

            §[<http://fritzthomas.com/overall/491-how-to-cleaning-up-gentoo-to-get-more-free-disk-space/<]§

            • Sargent Duck
            • 11 years ago

            82GB is relatively little?

            • Neutronbeam
            • 11 years ago

            Not for a boot drive-only with essential apps. Documents and games go another drive.

            • evilpaul
            • 11 years ago

            …And your complete Seinfeld and Simpsons DVD rip collection(s)?

            With Windows 7 Ultimate, Office 2007, Firefox, Chrome, and Visual Studio Express editions, and a whole bunch of other apps I’m only using 31GB of space. I’d be hesitant to go with smaller than a 64GB SSD simply because you want to have some free space left on them, but saying 82GB for the “bare essentials” is pretty ridiculous. You’ve got lots more on there than you recognize.

            If we’re talking about desktop systems here you can get a 1-2TB drive to store backups, video/music, and general data.

            • SomeOtherGeek
            • 11 years ago

            I don’t know… I think 40 GB will do it. My wife’s laptop from spring 2001 and she started with W2K, upgraded to XP, Office 2002, up to 2003, up to 2007 it was too slow, so back to 2003. She doesn’t delete her emails, not my business. This was all without formatting, she just won’t let me. Probably for good reason as it is still running. She has a 30 gig hd and it is only half full. So, I really think it is doable, will just have to play with it and get it right and then never install on C: again.

            • wira020
            • 11 years ago

            40gb might be enough for some people.. but people like me prefer at least half or quarter of the drive free after installing windows and essential apps ( office, adobe, browser, driver etc etc) for games or just for the comfort of not seeing the drive capacity status colored orange or red…

            • anotherengineer
            • 11 years ago

            ya non gamer, I rarely game and my steam folder is 25 Gigs alone lol

            If I got an SSD it would have to be at least 100Gigs, I mean 64GB would probly be more than enough, but if you instal lots of junk you might run outa space, acad and software like that gobbles up room too

            • wagsbags
            • 11 years ago

            Regardless of the ongoing argument of how much space is enough $100 will get you a 1TB desktop hard drive, a 500GB laptop hard drive or a 40GB SSD. In a laptop you generally only get one hard drive and after Windows, Office, maybe a backup partition and leaving enough space for the drive to work well you don’t have a lot left to work with.

            When I can get a 320GB for <$300 I am sooooo there. And my point is that I’d much rather have a really fast SSD that’s big enough than a REALLY fast SSD that’s half big enough.

            • SomeOtherGeek
            • 11 years ago

            40 GB is “plenty” of “sense”? C’mon, Intel is just milking us. They need their billions and billions of dollars.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 11 years ago

            I said “several new SSDs” and made no mention of Intel. Don’t put words in my mouth, please.

            • SomeOtherGeek
            • 11 years ago

            Oops, my bad! Sorry.

            Seriously, sorry, have been under the weather today.

            • WasF
            • 11 years ago

            Absolutely yes !
            40 GB is enough. I’ve been going on 30 GB for my system since 2001, and trust me, my system is no joke! Makes backup easy too..

            Still, 200 bucks for 40 GB is stealing, is what it’s called.

            On the other hand, with SSDs, small is beautiful no more: have you noticed that the bigger, the faster?!
            And with MTBF still more of a theory than a tested, proven reality, I’d rather have plenty of NAND cells laying around, ready to take the place of fallen comrades, for the sake of my data!

            I’m willing to pay good money to get rid of noise/heat/power consumption, slow access times, and extra system weight, and bring in shock tolerance as bonus. Sure. But not 50 times more!! That’s stealing!
            I mean, SSD arguments ARE strong, but no thanks: I’d rather keep both of my kidneys to myself! Duh!

    • Dirge
    • 11 years ago

    I wonder which quarter they are planning on releasing these cheaper G3? drives. The price of the X25-M G2 is crazy high here in New Zealand.

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 11 years ago

      The new prices will be “crazy high” minus 1 dollar! Yay!

    • sweatshopking
    • 11 years ago

    still too expensive…

      • Firestarter
      • 11 years ago

      Yeah, every pricepoint mentioned in this article is way higher than I’m willing to spend.

      ..

      Oh wait!

        • grantmeaname
        • 11 years ago

        I see what you did there!

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