Intel has started shipping their latest solid state drive featuring what they describe as the most efficient multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash currently available. 335 Series Solid State Drives are the first to use 20-nanometer NAND built by joint Intel and Micron venture IM Flash Technologies.

Chipzilla's latest SSD offering uses the SATA 6Gbps interface and a SandForce SF-2281 controller with custom Intel firmware. The only drive available at this hour is a 240GB model that touts 500MB/sec sequential reads and 450MB/sec sequential writes. It is also good for up to 42,000 read / 52,000 write IOPS using 4KB data. No word yet on what other capacities Intel has planned for this line.

The 20nm IMFT NAND uses a new cell structure that is said to enable more aggressive cell scaling than conventional architectures. Hi-K/metal gate planar cell technology is used to overcome difficulties that accompany this advanced process technology, effectively enabling performance and reliability that is in line with the previous 25nm process.

Buyers will also have access to Intel's SSD Toolbox with Intel SSD Optimizer. This is a free utility that provides Windows users with a powerful set of management, information and diagnostic tools designed to help maintain out-of-the-box levels of performance.

The chip maker says 335 Series SSDs will focus on blending cutting-edge performance and quality at a consumer friendly price.

I was able to find the 240GB drive for as low as $195 online which equates to around $0.81 cents per gigabyte. Drives include a standard three year limited warranty and are available today.