Intel has begun shipping the Intel X-25E Extreme SATA Solid-State Drive (SSD), aimed at server, workstation and storage systems. Unlike mechanical drives, the SSDs contain no moving parts and instead feature 50nm single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash memory technology. Systems equipped with these drives will not suffer from the performance bottlenecks associated with conventional drives. By reducing the total infrastructure, cooling and energy costs, SSDs can lower total cost of ownership for enterprise applications by more than five times.
The product was designed for intense computing workloads which benefit primarily from high random read and write performance, as measured in IOPS. Key technical performance specifications of the 32 GB Intel X-25E SATA SSD include 35,000 IOPS (4KB Random Read), 3,300 IOPS (4KB Random Write) and 75 microsecond read latency. This performance, combined with low active power of 2.4 watts, delivers up to 14,000 IOPS per watt for optimal performance/power output. The product also achieves up to 250 megabytes per second (MB/s) sequential read speeds and up to 170 MB/s sequential write speeds, all in a compact 2.5-inch form factor.
Intel achieves this breakthrough performance through innovations such as 10-channel NAND architecture with Native Command Queuing, proprietary controller and firmware efficient in advanced wear-leveling and low write amplification. The 32GB X25-E is capable of writing up to 4 petabytes (PB) of data over three-year period (3.7 TB/day), and double that for the 64GB version – delivering outstanding data reliability.
The 32GB capacity drive is in production and priced at $695 for quantities up to 1,000. The 64GB version is expected to sample in the fourth quarter with production estimated for the first quarter of 2009.