Intel, following up on its promise to keep cranking out new and improved SSDs because its customers demand them, on Sept. 15 launched its latest product line, the Solid-State Drive 710 Series, at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.
The 710 Series SSDs are purpose-built multi-level cell (MLC) enterprise data center-level replacements for Intel's own X25-E Extreme SSD, which came out in 2009.
The new Intel offering follows a trend toward more enterprise-type deployments for the MLC SSDs. MLC actually is about half the cost of single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash memory, but it has had reliability problems during its development. Thus, enterprise IT has largely shied away from MLC until manufacturers solved those problems.
Continued improvements by Intel, IBM, Samsung and other SSD makers now have stabilized MLC Flash memory to the extent that it is now generally considered ready for prime time applications, analysts have said.
The SSD 710 uses Intel 25-nanomenter MLC NAND flash memory with Intel's proprietary high-endurance "secret sauce" to deliver the endurance and performance for data center, financial services, embedded, Internet portal, search engine and other storage and server applications, Intel said.
The new chips feature "more than 30 times the write endurance of our current MLC SSDs," said Rob Crooke, vice president and general manager of the Intel Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group. It also features write endurance of up to 1.1PB and comes in 100GB, 200GB and 300GB capacities.
The Intel SSD 710 Series is $649 for the 100GB version, $1,289 for the 200GB and $1,929 for 300GB, all based on 1,000-unit quantities.