Intel slashes cost of SSDs with new 34nm drives

Intel has launched a new range of SSDs based on a 34nm manufacturing process, which it claims will help make the solid-state drives faster and much more affordable.

Intel slashes cost of SSDs with new 34nm drives

The X25-M Mainstream SATA SSD will come in 80 and 160GB variants, and is aimed at both desktop and laptop machines.

Intel says the new drives reduce latency by 25% compared to the 50nm drives it launched last year (which, confusingly, were also called X25-M), achieving speeds of 65 microseconds. Random write performance has also doubled, the chip maker claims.

Performance certainly wasn’t an issue when we reviewed the 50nm Intel X-25M SSDs last year, with the drives achieving speeds that were an order of magnitude faster than traditional hard disks. Price was the sticking point, with the 80GB drive costing £525 inc VAT at the time of review.

Intel, however, claims the new manufacturing process has helped the company reduce costs by as much as 60%. The new 80GB drive will cost $225 (£137) in quantities of 1,000, while the 160GB drive will wholesale for $440 (£268).

“Our goal was to not only be first to achieve 34nm NAND flash memory lithography, but to do so with the same or better performance than our 50nm version,” claims Randy Wilhelm, vice president and general manager of Intel’s NAND Solutions Group.

“We made quite an impact with our breakthrough SSDs last year, and by delivering the same or even better performance with today’s new products, our customers, both consumers and manufacturers, can now enjoy them at a fraction of the cost.”

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