X-bit Labs reports that Intel plans to discontinue its 1st-generaton of solid state drives manufactured under the 50nm process: the X25-M and the X18-M. While the site doesn't provide a source, we assume the announcement was made this week during the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) where Intel disclosed the secrets behind its 34nm process technology.
As it stands, the first-generation SSDs--the 50nm X25-M and X18-M offering 80 GB and 160 GB capacities--will be discontinued. Additionally, orders for the drives will no longer be accepted, and they will not be cancellable after April 20, 2010. Intel expects to ship the final batch of first-generation SSDs in August 2010.
The 50nm X25-M and X18-M originally appeared on the market in August 2008. Consumers didn't have to wait long for a successor, however: Intel's second-generation batch was released in late July 2009. It's estimated that the product life for a SSD model is a little over a year, shorter than the lifespan of CPUs.
This week at IEDM, Intel revealed its 2nd generation high-k/metal gate transistors that offer better performance than resistors used last year. The company said that performance has been boosted by 5-percent and 13-percent for NMOS and PMOS, respectively. Intel also revealed that SRAM array density, at 4.2 Mbit/mm2, is the highest reported array density for a 34nm or 28nm technology.