Leaked roadmap reveals Intel SSD plans

Engadget has come upon a leaked Intel SSD roadmap that reveals the company's plans for the coming two quarters. According to the official-looking slide, which was originally posted by German site Computer Base, Intel will release a quartet of new 2.5" solid-state disks in the fourth quarter of this year.

25-nm flash and much higher capacities are on the menu for the next round of X25-M drives, which will reportedly be offered in 160, 300, and 600GB flavors. The value-oriented X25-V will become available in an 80GB capacity, and the existing 40GB model looks set for return with new flash chips in the first quarter of next year. That's when we'll also see 160 and 300GB versions of Intel's 1.8" X18-M drives.

In addition to rolling out new consumer SSDs, Intel has plans to update its enterprise-oriented offerings. The roadmap suggests that a Lyndonville replacement for the X25-E is due in the first quarter of next year. This drive will be available in 100, 200, and 400GB capacities, and it looks like the flash will be "enterprise-grade" MLC rather than the SLC memory used in existing X25-Es. SLC memory typically has a tenfold advantage in write-erase endurance over MLC flash, but there's no indication that the 25-nm flash chips in the new X25-E models are any more robust than what's coming in the next-gen X25-Ms.  The slides do suggest that Lyndonville offers better write performance, though.

Naturally, none of these leaked details have been confirmed. Intel is certainly due for an SSD refresh; the X25-E still hasn't been granted TRIM support, and the X25-M G2 is already more than a year old. The slide has since been removed from Computer Base at Intel's request, so it's probably legit.

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