Intel Launches SandForce Driven Solid State Drive 520 Series

Paul Lilly

Having Intel knock on your door to request a chipset would be like having Muhammad Ali ask to use your boxing gloves in a title fight when he was at the top of his game. If you look at it that way, LSI should be thrilled that the Santa Clara chip maker abandoned its own solid state drive (SSD) chipset in favor of SandForce's SF-2200 chipset family in its just-launched SSD 520 Series.

"We worked closely with Intel to leverage their deep understanding of the NAND flash, ultimately providing a unique and optimized solution for client computing applications with the LSI SandForce Flash Storage Processor," said Michael Raam , vice president and general manager of LSI's Flash Components Division, formed by LSI's acquisition of SandForce. "Working through Intel's extensive validation process ensures the Intel 520 SSD will raise the bar in delivering top-tier performance and superior quality and reliability over the life of the drive."

Intel's new SSD 520 Series is a high-performance SATA 6Gbps SSD line using 25nm NAND flash memory chips. Combined with SandForce's SF-2200 controller, the SSD 520 Series is capable of up to 550MB/s sequential read and 520MB/s sequential write speeds. It delivers up to 80,000 maximum 4K random write Input-Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) and up to 50,000 4K random read IOPS, Intel says.

The SSD 520 Series marks the high-end of Intel's client SSD offerings and in addition to raw speed, the drives sport AES 256-bit encryption capabilities and stronger password protection, Intel says.

Pricing based on 1,000-unit quantities has been set at $149 (60GB), $229 (120GB), $369 (180GB), $509 (240GB), and $999 (480GB). Expect retail pricing to be a little bit higher.

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