Intel SSD roadmap shows five new drives coming in 2011By Matthew DeCarlo
Engadget has published a leaked roadmap detailing Intel's SSD launch schedule. Assuming the graph is correct, Intel has a busy year planned with five new flash drives due before 2012. This, of course, is in addition to the 310, 320 and 510 series drives that have already invaded the consumer retail space. The 3xx drives are more budget-oriented, while the 510 is Intel's current mainstream flagship drive (we'll be publishing our review of the 510 shortly).
Toward the end of this quarter, Intel intends to introduce its 710 SSDs (codenamed Lyndonville), which will be served in 100GB, 200GB and 400GB helpings and comprised of 25nm MLC-HET flash chips. According to VR-Zone, MLC-HET chips are particularly high quality and intended for enterprise usage. We're not sure how it compares to SLC NAND. Interestingly, the 710 drives use SATA 3Gb/s, meaning that they'll be slower than the 510 series.
Briefly after Lyndonville is outed, Intel will yank the curtain back on its enterprise-oriented 720 series. Known internally as Ramsdale, the 720 drives will be outfitted with SLC NAND in capacities of 200GB and 400GB. This series will break beyond the 3Gb/s interface, but it will attach via PCIe, not SATA. During the same timeframe, the company will unveil its 20GB 3xx Larsen Creek drive, which is expected to be sold for caching purposes on Z68 boards.
As 2011 draws to a close, Intel will welcome two more SSD families: the 3xy Paint Creek and 520 Cherryville drives. The former appears to be an entry-level mSATA 3Gb/s offering with 25nm MLC flash in quantities of 40GB and 80GB. We assume Paint Creek might use the same PC29AS21BA0 controller that drives Intel's existing X25 and 3xx products. The 2.5-inch Cherryville drives will come in 64GB through 480GB flavors and use SATA 6Gb/s.