SSDs with next-gen NAND approach

At the Computex trade show in Taipei, Taiwan earlier this year, the folks at SandForce told us to expect drives based on next-generation NAND in the fall. Now, a report out of China suggests the first offering could come from Intel. VR-Zone's Chinese site has posted an official-looking roadmap that has an Intel 335 Series SSD scheduled for the third quarter of this year. Only a 240GB model will be released at that time, with 80GB and 180GB variants supposedly following in the first quarter of 2013. The 335 Series will reportedly use the same SandForce SF-2281 controller as the Intel 330 Series, except with newer 20-nm NAND.

According to the same roadmap, the Intel 525 Series will debut in the fourth quarter. This new addition looks like an mSATA version of the 520 Series, which pairs the SandForce controller with 25-nm NAND. The 525 Series won't make the jump to 20-nm NAND, VR-Zone says.

Of course, Intel isn't the only firm with next-gen SSDs in the works. EXPreview says the Plextor M5P will debut next month with 19-nm Toggle DDR NAND. The SSD will purportedly tap Marvell's 88SS9187 controller and be available in 128-512GB capacities. We can expect sequential throughput up to 540MB/s for reads and 450MB/s for writes, EXPreview says. The M5P's random I/O ratings max out at 94,000 read IOps and 86,000 writes.

Although Google's translation of EXPreview's Chinese report is a little hard to understand, it looks like the M5P will be priced in the same range as the existing M3P. Newegg is selling that model at $180 for 128GB, $280 for 256GB, and $680 for 512GB. Those prices are a little on the expensive side considering the Blue Light Specials we've seen on some other SSDs lately.

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