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Intel Corp., one of the leading makers of flash memory and solid-state drives, said it is transitioning its X25-series solid-state drives to flash memory made using 34nm process technology. The company expects that more advanced manufacturing process will lower the costs of SSDs by up to 60% compared to existing SSDs based on 50nm flash.

"Our goal was to not only be first to achieve 34nm NAND flash memory lithography, but to do so with the same or better performance than our 50nm version. We made quite an impact with our breakthrough SSDs last year, and by delivering the same or even better performance with today's new products, our customers, both consumers and manufacturers, can now enjoy them at a fraction of the cost," said Randy Wilhelm, Intel vice president and general manager of Intel NAND solutions group.

The first SSDs to use the 34nm multi-level cell (MLC) NAND will be Intel X25-M mainstream devices available in 80GB and 160GB capacities. Compared to its previous 50nm version, the new Intel X25-M offers 25% reduction in latency for quicker data access. Besides, Intel X25-M delivers 6600 4KB write IOPS and up to 35000 read IOPS.

The original Intel X25-M features up to 250MB/s sequential read speed and up-to 70MB/s sequential write speed and offers 1.2 million hours MTBF. Actual performance figures for the new X25-M were not revealed now.

New channel prices for the X25-M 80GB are $225 for quantities up to 1000 units (a 60% reduction from the original introduction price of $595 a year ago). The 160GB version is $440 (down from $945 at introduction) for quantities up to 1000 units. The X25-M comes in a standard 2.5” form factor. The X18-M, in a 1.8” form factor, will begin shipping on 34nm later in the quarter. It can be expected that Intel's partner Kingston will also update its MLC flash-based lineup relatively shortly.

Tags: Intel, SSD, 34nm, Flash, X25-M

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