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Intel Corp. on Monday said it had begun to ship its new 335-series solid-state drive powered by NAND flash memory made using 20nm process technology. The new SSD provides new levels of performance amid high reliability made possible by the new type of flash memory as well as new firmware, SandForce controller and other tweaks implemented by Intel.

Intel 335-series SSD will initially be only available in 240GB capacity, which is a logical move considering the fact that Intel uses brand new 20nm multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory with SandForce SF-2281 controller. The Intel 335-series 240GB SSD provides up to 500MB/s sustained sequential read speed and up to 450MB/s sustained sequential write speed. The new SSDs can also deliver up to 42 000 read and up to 52 000 write input/output operations per second.

The product is Intel's first SSD to use the latest 20nm NAND flash memory jointly developed by IM Flash Technologies (IMFT). Announced last April, with shipping beginning in December 2011, the 20nm IMFT NAND uses a new cell structure that enables more aggressive cell scaling than conventional architectures. The 20nm 64Gb NAND uses a planar cell structure to overcome the inherent difficulties that accompany advanced process technology, enabling performance and reliability on par with the previous 25nm generation. The planar cell structure successfully breaks the scaling constraints of the standard NAND floating gate cell by integrating the first high-K/metal gate stack on NAND production.

"The Intel SSD 335 uses high-K/metal gate planar cell technology, which overcomes NAND process scaling constraints to deliver the smallest-area NAND cell and die in the industry. By pushing technology constraints and using process innovation, Intel can continue to progress SSD technology and pass along savings to our customers," said Rob Crooke, Intel vice president and general manager for the Intel non-volatile memory (NVM) solutions group.

Intel 335-series 240GB solid-state drive is available in 2.5” form-factor for recommended price of $209.99. Intel SSDs are backed by a 3-year limited warranty.

Tags: Intel, SSD, 20nm, NAND, Flash, MLC, SandForce

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