Intel's latest generation of solid state drives has come full circle with new enterprise-grade SSDs in the 2.5-inch SATA form-factor. Called the Intel SSD 710 series, and codenamed "Lyndonville", the new series succeeds previous-generation X25-E series in a similar way SSD 320 series does to the last X25-M drives. It makes use of NAND flash memory built on the 25 nanometer fabrication process, steps up capacities, lowers price per gigabyte, and adds new features that improve throughput and endurance, which are key in datacenters. We scored some information that gives you a fair idea of what to expect from the new drives, and especially why you shouldn't be neophobic with the new Intel SSD 710.
Intel's SSD 710 takes a new approach to addressing the 'problem' of not being able to achieve good price per gigabyte ratios with single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash memory. SLC NAND flash has been preferred in the enterprise computing industry, due to its high cell endurance to rewrites, and throughput. With the new SSD 710 series, Intel will introduce the new High Endurance Technology Multi-Level Cell (HET-MLC) NAND flash. These new chips are claimed by its makers to offer endurance comparable to SLC, while giving users the capacity advantage that MLC offers.
Intel's SSD 710 drives come in three capacities – 100 GB, 200 GB and 300 GB – and the endurance rating varies between the three. With 4 KB write endurance, while the 100 GB model is rated to offer 500 TB (900 TB with 20 GB overprovisioned, leaving 80 GB unformatted capacity), and the 200 GB model offers 1 PB or 1000 TB (1.5 PB with 40 GB overprovisioned, leaving 160 GB), the 300 GB model tops the charts with 1.1 PB endurance (3.0 PB with 60 GB overprovisioned, leaving 240 GB). The SSD 710 300 GB gets very close to X25-E 64 GB with 4K write endurance and 4K random write performance in IOPS. The figures paint SSD 710 to have most durable MLC NAND flash ever made, and should build confidence in server builders.