Intel Debuts Industry's First 20nm Solid State Drive Family, 335 Series

Paul Lilly

Intel, the world's largest semiconductor chip maker, today started shipping its Solid State Drive (SSD) 335 Series using the smallest, most efficient multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash on the market. According to Intel the 335 Series is the first to employ a 20-nanometer (nm) NAND flash memory process, which were produced by IM Flast Technologies (IMFT), a joint venture of Micron and Intel.

The 335 Series SSDs sport a 6Gbps SATA interface paired with a SandForce SF-2281 controller using custom Intel firmware. The new line kicks off with a single 240GB model capable of up to 500MB/s sequential reads and up to 450MB/s sequential writes, along with 4KB reads up to 42,000 IOPS and writes up to 52,000 IOPS. Intel's intent with the 335 Series is to blend "cutting-edge performance and Intel quality at a consumer friendly price," the chip maker said .

Intel says the 20nm IMFT NAND uses a new planar cell structure -- the first in the industry -- that enables more aggressive cell scaling than conventional architectures. According to Intel, performance and reliability are on par with the previous 25nm generation products.

"The Intel SSD 335 uses Hi-K/metal gate planar cell technology, which overcomes NAND process scaling constraints to deliver the smallest-area NAND cell and die in the industry," said Rob Crooke, Intel vice president and general manager for the Intel Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) Solutions Group. "By pushing technology constraints and using process innovation, Intel can continue to progress SSD technology and pass along savings to our customers."

No word on when other capacities will be available. For now, you can find the 240GB model selling for as low as $195 street, or a little over 81 cents per gigabyte.

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