SSDs break performance barriers, lower overall costs - Embedded.com

SSDs break performance barriers, lower overall costs

Intel's latest solid-state drive (SSD), the X-25E Extreme SATA solid-state drive, is aimed at server, workstation, and storage systems. Unlike mechanical drives, the SSDs contain no moving parts. Instead, they feature 50-nm single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash memory technology. Systems equipped with these drives aren't subject to the performance bottlenecks associated with conventional drives. By reducing the total infrastructure, cooling, and energy costs, Intel claims that SSDs can lower total cost of ownership for enterprise applications by more than five times.

The X25-E increases server, workstation, and storage system performance by 100 times* over conventional hard disk drives as measured in I/Os per second (IOPS). A storage model which includes SSDs can also lower energy costs by up to five times, an added benefit for businesses focused on electricity savings.

The product was designed for intense computing workloads which benefit primarily from high random read and write performance, as measured in IOPS. Key technical performance specs of the 32-Gbyte X-25E SATA SSD include 35,000 IOPS (4-Kkbyte random read), 3,300 IOPS (4-kbyte random write) and 75-microsecond read latency. This performance, combined with an active power of 2.4 W, delivers up to 14,000 IOPS/W for optimal performance/power output. The product also achieves up to 250 Mbytes/s sequential read speeds and up to 170 Mbytes/s sequential write speeds, all in a 2.5-in. form factor.

Intel achieves this breakthrough performance using a 10-channel NAND architecture with Native Command Queuing, a proprietary controller, and firmware that's efficient in advanced wear-leveling and low write amplification. The 32-Gbyte model is in production and priced at $695 for quantities up to 1000. A 64-Gbyte version should sample by the end of the year with production estimated for the first quarter of 2009. For more information go to www.intel.com/go/ssd.

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