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Intel's New 520 Series SSD Codenamed "Cherryville"

"Cherryville", Intel's new high-end 520 Series SSD, is based on 2.5-inch SATA 6 Gb/s form-factor and comes in 60 GB, 120 GB, 160 GB, 240 GB, and 480 GB capacities (versus just 120 GB & 240 GB with the 510 Series). The drive will utilize 25 nm multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory made by Intel and features support for TRIM, SMART, NCQ, and ACS-2 compliance. Intel looks to be setting up to battle the SandForce SF-22xx SSDs at each capacity level and price-point.

Initial performance information on "Cherryville" shows sequential and random access performance figures are expected to be up to 530 MB/s read, 490 MB/s write sequential performance; and 40,000 IOPS reads and 45,000 IOPS writes random performance. As with other SSD manufacturers, the performance information is expected to vary between capacities, so we'll have to take a wait-and-see approach on what the final release numbers are for each capacity. In addition, the SSD drives are rated with 1.2 million hours MTBF, can operate between 0 and 70°C, and withstand up to 2.7 G (RMS) vibration.

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Intel is expected to begin production of the 520 Series SSD in the fourth quarter of 2011.