Intel lowers SSD prices with 34nm manufacturing process

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

San Francisco (CA) - Intel has adopted a "more advanced" 34-nanometer (nm) manufacturing process for its NAND flash-based Solid State Drive (SSD) product line. The move to 34nm is expected to lower SSD prices by up to 60 percent due to a reduced die size and advanced engineering design.

"Our goal was to not only be first to achieve 34nm NAND flash memory lithography, but to do so with the same or better performance than our 50nm version," said Randy Wilhelm, an Intel VP. "We made quite an impact with our breakthrough SSDs last year, and by delivering the same or even better performance with today's new products, our customers, both consumers and manufacturers, can now enjoy them at a fraction of the cost."

Wilhelm added that the X25-M on 34nm flash memory was "drop-in compatible" with the current 50nm version and would "continue" to be drop-in compatible to replace existing hard disk drives (HDDs).

Intel X25-M 34nm flash SSD

According to Intel, the X25-M offers a 25 percent reduction latency, operating at 65-microseconds compared to approximately 4,000 microseconds for an HDD. In addition, random write performance has increased "twofold" up to 6,600 4KB write and 35,000 read IOPS.

Intel has set the following price points for the X25-M:

  • 80GB - $225 for quantities up to 1,000 units.
  • 160GB - $440 for quantities up to 1,000 units.

The X25-M is available in a standard 2.5-inch form factor, while the X18-M - in a 1.8-inch form factor - will begin shipping on 34nm later this quarter.