Leaked roadmap shows Intel 530 SSDs with SandForce controllers

By on January 4, 2013, 5:00 PM

VR-Zone has once again shared (Chinese) a possible leaked Intel roadmap, this time showing an Intel "530 series" SSD on the horizon. According to the leaked slide, 80GB and 180GB 530 models could appear as soon as Q1 this year. 2.5" and mSATA models should arrive during Q2, 2013. Meanwhile, the wallet-friendly 335 series will be in for a series of "continued product optimizations".

It appears 530 models will be a continuation (or probably a replacement of) of Intel's 520 series which we reviewed last year. According to translations of the VR-Zone article, 530 SSDs will share the same controller (LSI SandForce SF-2281) as the 525 series. It's worth noting that although the 525 was supposed to debut in November, I haven't actually seen any 525 models for sale via U.S. retail channels.

All in all, the primary differences between the 525 and 530 appear to be a die shrink from 25nm to 20nm and the intent to release 530s as a NGFF package. NGFF is a new, Ultrabook-focused form factor which promises speedy SSDs in tight spaces. The document indicates NGFF models will appear first in Q1 before more common 2.5" and mSATA form factors debut in Q2.

VR-Zone also posted a NGFF reference design, which Anandtech explained in-depth last year. When compared to mSATA, the NGFF card is roughly two-thirds the size, measuring 42mm x 22mm versus 51mm x 30mm. The new form-factor is also about 2mm thinner for single-sided designs and 1mm thinner for double-sided cards.

Being that the new models will be part of the 500 series, owners can probably expect the same five-year warranty and level of reliability found with previous 500 series models. By contrast, Intel's consumer-focused 335 SSDs typically ship with a three-year warranty.

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