58b vrz Intel SSD 520 Cherryville The Faster, Tougher Successor of SSD 510

As an established player in the solid state drive (SSD) industry, Intel has at its disposal a market which it can address with the same breakneck product-cycle as its much larger x86 processor product lines. The most recent roadmap slide and accompanying information we scored suggests that a successor is already around the corner for Intel's well-received SSD 510 series high-performance client SSDs that use the SATA 6 Gbps interface.

As an established player in the solid state drive (SSD) industry, Intel has at its disposal a market which it can address with the same breakneck product-cycle as its much larger x86 processor product lines. The most recent roadmap slide and accompanying information we scored suggests that a successor is already around the corner for Intel's well-received SSD 510 series high-performance client SSDs that use the SATA 6 Gbps interface.

58b vrz Intel SSD 520 Cherryville The Faster, Tougher Successor of SSD 510

Codenamed "Cherryville", Intel's new high-end client SSD series is called SSD 520. Its main design goals look to be to spread the series in capacities both higher and lower than what the SSD 510 series could address. While SSD 510 is available only in 120 GB and 250 GB variants, the new SSD 520 will add a higher capacity variant, 480 GB, and a lower capacity one, 60 GB. A new 160 GB variant is added in the middle, and 250 GB is replaced by 240 GB.

With client SSDs and client environment in general, sequential transfer speeds are the king, Intel gave out just one set of sequential transfer rates for the SSD 520 series, 530 MB/s reads and 490 MB/s writes; and just one set of random access throughput, up to 40,000 IOPS read and 45,000 IOPS write. These figures are known to vary between the different variants, and so we'll have to wait for the final specifications that are specific to variants.

Available in the 2.5-inch SATA form-factor, the drives will make use of 25 nm multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory made by Intel. Its controller will be compliant will the latest in client SSD technologies. To begin with, there are bare essentials such as SMART, that reports if the drive is failing, TRIM, that works to minimize write performance degradation, and NCQ, which queues commands on the drive's cache. The drive supports native 256-bit AES data encryption, and end-to-end data protection.

Its physical durability is characterized by 1.2 million hours MTBF (mean time before failure) rating, an operating temperature range of 0 to 70 oC, and 2.7 G (rms) vibration tolerance.

Intel is expected to begin production of the SSD 520 series in the fourth quarter of 2011.