Leaked: third generation Intel 25nm SSD specs

By on October 6, 2010, 9:29 AM
Intel's Solid State Drives (SSDs) will be progressing very well in the next few quarters, according to leaked specs obtained by AnandTech. Internally, the improvements are supposedly called the Postville Refresh (the X25-M G2 carried the Postville codename), but externally they will be called by the same X25-M brand we've seen since 2008. Intel is listing the new X25-M as being 3Gbps SATA only, though the SATA implementation has been updated to support ATA8-ACS so 6Gbps is possible once Intel has a chipset with native support.

The third generation drives will be available somewhere between Q4 2010 and Q1 2011 and will feature 25nm IMFT Flash, which means roughly twice the capacity for the same price. The improvements aren't all about price per gigabyte, however, as the 25nm successor will not only get a capacity increase to 600GB for the 2.5-inch size and 300GB for the 1.8-inch, but we'll see up to 40,000 IOPS in random 4K writes, and transfer speeds for larger sequential files up to 250MB/s reads and 170MB/s writes. Furthermore, the new Intel X25-M G3 units are built to last: they're reportedly able to transfer at least 30TB before dying, and have a "power safe write cache" feature that keeps errant power outages from prematurely killing them. Full disk encryption is also included: AES-128 support will be available on consumer drives. We should expect a new version of the SSD Toolbox since Intel is also promising Windows-based firmware updates.

In addition to the new X25-M, a new X25-E, codenamed Lyndonville, will be out in Q1 2011. The first Intel Enterprise SSD to use MLC flash will not be the same MLC used on the consumer drives but rather a modification of the 25nm process that trades data retention for longevity. Standard MLC will last for 12 months after all erase/program cycles have been consumed, while enterprise-grade MLC will last just three months but will instead support many more cycles per cell.

User Comments: 12

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Guest said:

What does it mean that MLC will last only 12 months? Does that mean if I by an SSD today, it will die in 12 months on average use? That would suck.

sMILEY4ever said:

"they're reportedly able to transfer at least 30TB before dying"

What about HDD's ? How much are they reported to be able to transfer before dying?

princeton princeton said:

Guest said:

What does it mean that MLC will last only 12 months? Does that mean if I by an SSD today, it will die in 12 months on average use? That would suck.

I think you read it out of context.

"after all erase/program cycles have been consumed" So I assume after the cells cycles have been consumed the MLC will last another 12 months before death. Take my response with a grain of salt though as I don't even own an SDD. Though... with these leaked specs I'm definitely thinking of grabbing one of these.

Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

I'm definantely thinking of buying one of these

However 30TB does not sound like all that much in my ears, then again perhaps they are not exagraggating, it's Intel afterall...

Would be interesting to see similar specs from the other SSD makes, like the Sandforce based SSD's from OCZ like the OCZ Force for example which has really impressive performance

sMILEY4ever; Normal HDD's are not rated like this, they are not "worn" by writing data, if I'd fathom a guess they can be rated close to ?

Guest said:

Princeton is correct!

And guest Reading comprehension FTW!

Guest said:

Per Hansson 30TB is quite alot if you follow the recommend usage for an SSD.

So when building a system the hybrid approach still applies

SSD for OS and HD for data.

Following this method aswell as some tweaks like disabling indexing,moving swap file off ssd, browser caches and user temp files sit on a ram disc.

My 160GB G2 drive that I bought in december of 2009 is currently sitting at 850GB's Host writes, and according to that data sheet I should be able to hit 15TB's minimum writes before it dies.

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

I simply agreed with the guests' posts. 30TB is in fact quite alot.

Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

Maybe you are correct, I was somewhat thinking for server use aswell, the X25-E is rated at 1>2PB, while this may sound like allot for a heavy database server I could see you transferring that ammount of data in one or two years time...

Does anyone know if this data is stored by normal harddrives aswell?

Would be interesting to get some real life perspective on how much data I actually write myself as-is... (I can't remember ever seeing it in the SMART data tho)

Guest said:

I've yet to see any applications that show you the host writes on a Regular HD.

Maybe using some of the diagnostic tools that WD,Seagate etc provide on their websites might show this?

Guest said:

Actually as a Home user (power user Web surfing video watching/encoding and Mafia wars) I too would quite happily trade 1 years of readability after death for much improved longevity. Please re-think this intel, I have stayed away from SSD till now as I knew this refresh was coming, but now I may need to stay away for a further 6-9 months..

When Sandforce get hold of this there should be some screaming drives.. and cheap cheap SSD for a NAS or DVR/PVR/HTPC use.

Guest said:

I use an Intel 160GB G2 drive for about 10 months and about four months ago I added an OCZ Vertex 2E 240 GB on my Dell M6500 Coveat laptop. I use it for software development and I run Windows Server 2008 R2 with a couple VM. Various developers acces my SQL Server VM as well as my VM Webserver. It works without a hitch. It is as fast as when the drives were new and I do not think that I will go back to spindles. It sounds so obsolete. At least these drives have three years guarantee versus 1 for the mechanical drives. Even if they last three years it will be time to buy another laptop.

It has been the best, most meaningfull, not very expensive, I upgrade that I have done in a computer the last 22 years. I just can not wait until the technology improves and work at ram speeds.

Guest said:

Well, the Sandforce 2000 chip will give the G3 a beating.


Sequential Read: 250MB/s

Sequential Write:170MB/s

read IOPS: 50K

write IOPS:40K

Security: AES-128

Sandforce 2000:

Sequential Read: 500MB/s

Sequential Write:500MB/s

read IOPS: 60K

write IOPS:60K

Security: AES-256

Source: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3971/sandforce-announces-nextg

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