IDF kicks off tomorrow, and the festivities are getting started early: Intel has introduced a new SSD targeting corporate types. The SSD Pro 1500 Series, as it's called, combines the LSI SandForce SF-2281 controller with 20-nm NAND—a similar configuration to the consumer-grade 530 Series SSD announced a couple months back.
Like the 530 Series, the Pro 1500 will come in 2.5" and M.2 form factors. The 2.5" models will be available in 80-480GB capacities, while the M.2 variants will top out at 360GB. All Pro 1500 drives are rated for 540MB/s sequential reads and 490MB/s sequential writes. The random I/O specs top out at 41k IOps for random reads and 80k for random writes.
In this day and age, I'm not sure what to make of the Pro 1500 Series' 256-bit AES encryption support. For what it's worth, the encryption conforms to the TCG Opal spec. The bit scrambling should at least provide a measure of protection for company data when employees lose their laptops.
The Pro 1500 Series plugs into Intel's vPro platform, enabling admins to monitor its health and perform management functions remotely. It's also part of Intel's Stable Image Platform Program, which guarantees compatibility and platform driver stability for 15 months after the initial launch.
All of Intel's Pro series SSDs are covered by five-year warranties, and the new model is no exception. Intel claims the annualized failure rate for its SSDs is "well below 1 percent," which should give admins some peace of mind.
The Intel SSD Pro Series 1500 will be sold primarily to top-tier PC makers. Only limited quantities will make it into the channel, so you probably won't see the drive popping up at Newegg anytime soon. You may, however, find it inside upcoming business-oriented notebooks.