After much speculation, Intel has now officially announced their new solid state drives that will be the first to use a 34nm manufacturing process. Despite of fierce and noteworthy competition, current-generation Intel X25-M SSDs have remained favorites among enthusiasts.

The new 34nm solid state drives will be named the same and offered in similar 80GB and 160GB capacities. New prices should make them more attractive at $225 for the 80GB version and $440 for the 160GB model (were $320 and $620 before this announcement). Intel is also touting improved performance: 25% reduction in latency and twice the random write performance, compared to its older 50nm siblings.

With an already crowded SSD market, you can expect this to push things even further. Intel is expected to bump the capacity of its MLC-based SSDs early next year, which along with competition should be pushing SSDs to the mainstream sector as soon as next year.