Intel SSD roadmap leaks, several new additions expected

 

intelssdroadmap Intel SSD roadmap leaks, several new additions expected

If you thought Intel's Larsen Creek was going to the only addition to the 510, 320 and 310 series of SSDs this year, then you'd be dead wrong as the company is preparing to launch a new high-end consumer series of SSDs before the end of the year, a new mSATA series of SSDs, not to mention a new corporate series of SSDs and three PCI Express based families of SSDs. Some details are still missing, most importantly details of the SSD controllers used in the new products, but apart from that, we have a pretty good picture of what Intel is planning for the next seven months or so.

If you thought Intel's Larsen Creek was going to the only addition to the 510, 320 and 310 series of SSDs this year, then you'd be dead wrong as the company is preparing to launch a new high-end consumer series of SSDs before the end of the year, a new mSATA series of SSDs, not to mention a new corporate series of SSDs and three PCI Express based families of SSDs. Some details are still missing, most importantly details of the SSD controllers used in the new products, but apart from that, we have a pretty good picture of what Intel is planning for the next seven months or so.

First up we have the 520 series also known as Cherryville which is set to replace the 510 series which launched early this year. The 520 series is of course using the SATA 6Gbps interface, but it looks like Intel has changed the controller used as the write speeds have been improved from a maximum of 315MB/s of the 510 series to 360MB/s for the 520 series. The read speed remains the same at 500MB/s. The IOPS are also up by quite significant numbers, as the 4KB reads have gone from 20K IOPS to 30k IOPS and the 4KB writes have improved in a similar manner from 8K IOPS to 12K IOPS. The 520 series will be available in sizes of 64, 120, 240 and 480GB.

The 520 series should arrive sometime in Q4 alongside the Intel's next generation mSATA SSD code named Paint Creek. There doesn't appear to be any major changes here and in all fairness we haven't managed to dig up a lot of details on Paint Creek. What is clear is that we're looking at the same 40 and 80GB capacities which is a little bit disappointing, but we'd expect that Intel has managed to boost the performance compared to the current 310 series.

Moving on things get a little bit more interesting, as Intel is planning a series of three PCI Express based desktop SSDs. First up we have the 330P series which will be available in 80, 120 or 160GB and it's clearly targeting the consumer market. In terms of performance we're looking at sequential read speeds of up to 540MB/s, a tad better than the 520 series SATA SSDs and the sequential write speed will be up to 330MB/s, this time slightly slower than the 520 series. However, where the 330P series really impresses is in IOPS, as the 4KB reads will hit as high as 78K IOPS while the 4KB writes will hit 42K IOPS. The 330P series will use dual NAND Flash controllers in RAID 0 and will come as a PCI Express x4 card. No word on when the 330P series will land.

intelssdroadmap Intel SSD roadmap leaks, several new additions expected

Next up we have the 530P series which again we don't have any arrival date for, but this is where things get really serious in terms of performance. The 530P is just like the 330P series a PCI Express x4 card with a pair of NAND Flash controllers in RAID 0 mode, but you're looking at sizes of 240 and 480GB. We're obviously looking at different controllers here, as the sequential read speed jumps up to an impressive 900MB/s while the write speed peaks at 640MB/s. The IOPS on the other hand are down with the 4KB reads topping out at 60K IOPS and the 4KB writes managing “only” 24K IOPS.

The third and final PCI Express solution is the 720P series and now we're in enterprise territory as we're looking at 34nm SLC NAND Flash and quad controllers with RAID 5 support. Size wise Intel will offer 96 and 192GB models according to one source, while another source suggests 200 and 400GB models. Here we're looking at insane speeds with the sequential read speeds hitting 1.6GB/s and the write speeds not being far behind at 1.45GB/s. The IOPS are equally impressive with the 4KB reads hitting 180K IOPS followed by the 4KB writes at 72K IOPS. The 720P series should arrive sometime in Q3.

Finally we have the 710 series which is the much rumoured Lyndonville which has been expected for quite some time now. It uses MLC-HET NAND Flash which is extra high quality chips that have been selected specifically for enterprise level SSD products. Capacities offered will be 100, 200 and 400GB, all with an obviously large reserved area for when some of the cells die over time. As far as performance is concerned, well, Intel actually changed from SLC to MLC-HET NAND Flash and the only performance figures available are for the SLC version which isn't going to launch. The 710 should be available sometime between May and July judging by the roadmap.

Now we're not going to bet money on how things play out, since as always specifications change and delays happen for all sorts of reasons. That said, it looks like Intel has an interesting SSD roadmap and we're especially interested in the new PCI Express based solutions. This also explains why Intel has added support for an interesting PCI Express slot configuration for upcoming Z77 chipset, but more on that in a separate story.

Source: Engadget, TechARP

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