Rumours are circulating that Intel is soon to surge ahead of the competition again in the solid state drive (SSD) market with the launch of a 320GB drive based on its 34nm flash chips.
The company currently sells the X18-M and X25-M, 80 and 160GB drives based on its 50nm process, considered by many to be amongst the best drives available. Even Kingston just rebranded Intel SSDs rather than create its own.
According to one Canadian forum the consumer and mobile PC models will feature a 32MB wear levelling buffer, 90MB/s sequential write performance, AES 128-bit Encryption, advanced NCQ Features with enhanced performance through status aggregation, and Advanced Smart Support, meaning improved drive statistics to monitor drive life. There should also be a server version available with a Power Safe Write Cache and faster speeds
Intel would only say that it does not comment on rumour or speculation, but there should be an official announcement due next week with stock becoming available by the end of the month.
Although quieter, faster, sturdier and more power efficient than traditional hard drives, to date SSD adoption rates have been hindered by limited capacities and very high price tags and potentially worrying longevity issues. However, with a slew of memory makers now releasing or enhancing their SSD lineups, capacities are reaching acceptable levels, prices are rapidly dropping and the reliability concerns are being addressed.
Although spinning disks still provide much better value for money when it comes to those situations where capacity is more important than performance, SSDs could quickly start becoming a lot more commonplace.
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