A more advanced 34 nanometer process for two Intel solid state drives has resulted in speed increases and drastic price cuts.
Intel’s multi-level cell X25-M is intended for laptop and desktop PCs. The switch from 50 nm to 34 nm lithography resutls in a 60 percent price drop for PC and laptop makers, and comes with performance perks as well.
Latency is reduced 25 percent, to 65 microseconds (Intel compares this to roughly 4,000 microseconds for hard disc drives). Random write input/output operations per second is also improved, reaching up to 6,600 4KB write IOPS and up to 35,000 read IOPS.
For manufacturers purchasing up to 1,000 units, the X25-M 80GB’s channel price is $225, compared to the original price of $595. The 160 GB model will cost $440 for up to 1,000 units, compared to $945 originally. This is the second price cut on the X25-M line from Intel, as both SSD sizes became roughly $200 less expensive in February.
The picture isn’t entirely rosy, though. Register Hardware called the price cuts “halfhearted,” as Intel didn’t adjust the price of its X18-M line, nor has it increased capacity on either. The enterprise-oriented X18-E line was also missing from Intel’s announcement.
There’s also the spiking cost of NAND flash to worry about, so while it’s always good to see SSD prices come down, Intel’s price cuts are hardly the bellwether for a new trend.