Intel Releases 160GB Solid State Disk

Semiconductor manufacturer Intel has released two solid state drives destined at the server market, showing that it is now a growing force to be reckoned with in the storage sector.

The X25M is a 2.5-inch model and the X18M is a smaller 1.8-inch, both with a 160GB capacity and using Multi Level Cell memory technology etched using Intel's very own 50nm manufacturing process.

Intel will be using an advanced architecture which will allow 10 NAND flash channels to be used concurrently; with Native Command Queuing (NCQ) technology, up to 32 simultaneous operations will be able to be processed.

Amongst other features that the semiconductor giant will be including are low write amplification and wear-leveling design which is expected to make the drives more reliable and increase their mean time before failure to roughly 1.2 million hours.

The slimmer version is expected to be adopted by laptop manufacturers while the larger version will be used either in servers or in high end workstations.

The solid state drives should deliver read speeds approaching 250Mbps with write speed of 70Mbps and read latency of 85ms (100 times faster than most hard disk drives), while consuming around 150mW when in use and 60mW when idle.

The X25M is expected to be worth around £640. A 128GB SSD card from OCZ costs around £250, which is roughly equivalent to £2 per GB. Samsung is expected to sell its forthcoming 512GB SSD for only $1652 in comparison.

But the drive is expected to be the fastest consumer SSD on the market with the X25-E version ending up being even faster.

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Our Comments

Intel's 160GB hard disk drive is a fraction of Samsung's 512GB but Intel doesn't wanted to be the main player in the SSD market, at least not for now. The chip giant is able to offer everything; a CPU, motherboard, Storage, Chipset, video and audio as well as (wireless) networking. The only thing missing is the memory.

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