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Intel unveils MLC-based SSDs with SLC-like endurance

Sep 15, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Intel announced a series of 25-nanometer, multi-level cell (MLC) solid state drives (SSDs) aimed at enterprise data centers as well as embedded applications. Offering more than 30 times the write endurance of Intel's current MLC SSDs, the Intel SSD 710 Series is available in 100GB, 200GB, and 300GB capacities, according to Intel.

Intel, following up on its promise to keep cranking out new and improved NAND flash chips because its customers demand them, launched its latest product line on Sept. 15. The Solid-State Drive 710 Series chip was announced at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco.

The 710 Series SSDs are purpose-built, multi-level cell (MLC) enterprise data center-level SSD replacements for Intel's own X25-E Extreme SSD, which came out in 2009. The new Intel offering (pictured) follows a trend toward more enterprise-type deployments for the MLC NAND flash chips.

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, waiting for manufacturers to solve those problems.

Continued improvements by Intel, IBM, Samsung and other NAND flash 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-nanometer 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 design delivers "nearly the same endurance as SLC-based NAND SSDs, yet utilizes the higher capacity and more cost-effective MLC NAND," according to Intel. The chips feature "more than 30 times the write endurance of our current MLC SSDs," stated Rob Crooke, vice president and general manager of the Intel Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group. They also provide write endurance of up to 1.1PB and come in 100GB, 200GB, and 300GB capacities, according to the company.

Intel SSD 710 Series promo video on YouTube

Source: Intel
(Click to play)


The Intel SSD 710 Series is available now for $649 for the 100GB version, $1,289 for the 200GB and $1,929 for 300GB, all based on 1,000-unit quantities, says Intel. More information may be found in this Intel SSD 710 Series announcement, and at this SSD 710 web page.

Chris Preimesberger is a writer for eWEEK.

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