SAN FRANCISCOIntel Corp. said Tuesday (July 21) it is shipping NAND flash solid state drives (SSDs) based on 34-nanometer (nm) process technology, an industry first, according to the company.
Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.) said the move to 34-nm would help lower prices of the SSDs up to 60 percent for PC and laptop makers and consumers who buy them due to the reduced die size and advanced engineering design.
The multi-level cell (MLC) Intel X25-M Mainstream SATA SSD is aimed at laptop and desktop PCs and available in 80-gigabyte (GB) and 160-GB versions, Intel said.
"Our goal was to not only be first to achieve 34-nm NAND flash memory lithography, but to do so with the same or better performance than our 50-nm version," said Randy Wilhelm, vice president and general manager of Intel's NAND Solutions group, in a statement.
The Intel X25-M on 34-nm flash memory is drop-in compatible with the current 50-nm version and will continue to be drop-in compatible to replace existing hard disk drives, Intel said. Compared to its 50-nm version, the X25-M offers improved latency and faster random write input/output operations per second, according to the company.
New channel prices for the X25-M 80-GB are $225 for quantities up to 1,000 units, a 60 percent reduction from the original introduction price of $595 a year ago, Intel said. The 160-GB version is $440 per unit up to 1,000 units, down from $945 at introduction, Intel said.
The X25-M comes in a standard 2.5-inch form factor and is available immediately, Intel said. The X18-M, in a 1.8-inch form factor, will begin shipping on 34nm later in the quarter, the company said.