UPDATE: Intel has clarified terms of the warranty (updated in the fourth paragraph), which is why the news-story has been altered and a new one with details of the five-years warranty has been posted.
FOLLOW UP: Intel Clarifies Five Years Warranty on Solid-State Drives.
Intel Corp. recently announced extension of warranties on its 320-series solid-state drives that are based on the company's 25nm NAND flash memory. From now, the drives that were launched just two months ago are covered by five years limited warranty.
Customers will need to monitor media wear-our indicator (a SMART [E9] attribute used for monitoring the wearout level of SSD over time) using Intel SSD Drive Toolbox. The media wear-out indicator reports a normalized value of 100 (when the SSD is brand new out of the factory) and declines to a minimum value of 1. When the value reads 1, this indicates that the SSD is reaching the wear-out limit and should be replaced.
"Confident in the enhanced reliability features of its recently introduced third-generation solid-state drive (SSD), Intel announced it has extended its limited warranty for the Intel SSD 320-series from three years to five years. The extended warranty term will apply to all Intel SSD 320-series drives, including those already purchased. Additional limitations apply to enterprise usage levels," said Patrick Darling, a spokesman for Intel, in a statement.
Once the media wear level goes to one (even if in two years) then the limited warranty expires. Intel replaces the drive if there is an issue with the drive prior to five years, or prior to the drive being worn out. In enterprise settings, they will put more wear on the drive than the estimated 20GB per day Intel offers on a consumer-use.
The extension of the warranty from three to five years clearly shows that Intel has managed to create firmware for its solid-state drives that ensures not only maximum performance, but also maximum reliability over a very long period of time.
Available in 40GB, 80GB, 120GB, 160GB, 300GB and 600GB versions, Intel SSD 320-series offers sequential write speeds up to 220MB/s, sequential read throughput at up to 270MB/s and produces up to 39 500 input/output operations per second (IOPS) random reads and 23 000 IOPS random writes on its highest-capacity drives. The SSDs are based on Intel's own proprietary firmware and controller. Intel uses spare area to deploy added redundancies that will help keep user data protected, even in the event of a power loss. The SSDs also include 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard capabilities on every drive, to help protect personal data in the event of theft or loss. The Intel 320-series SSDs use Serial ATA-300 interface and 25nm NAND flash memory.
Intel SSD 320 prices, based on 1000-unit quantities, are as follows: 40GB at $89; 80GB at $159; 120GB at $209; 160GB at $289; 300GB at $529 and 600GB at $1069.