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Intel 34-nm SSDs Officially Launched, Cheaper

Yesterday we brought you word that new Intel SSDs were on their way, which is true, but sadly not with as much new hotness as we had hoped.

Intel today announced its more advanced Solid State Drive built using the 34-nm manufacturing process. The new technology will replace the old drives that used the 50-nm process.

Intel isn't introducing any new products just yet. In fact, the new drives using the more advanced technology will be using the exact same model names as the previous generation - Intel X25-M available in 80 GB and 160 GB versions.

Intel said that keeping with the same product number because the focus for this new generation was in manufacturing, not so much performance (even though early numbers show a small speed boost).

Compared to its previous 50-nm version, the new Intel X25-M offers improved latency and faster random write Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS). Specifically, Intel's new SSD provides a 25 percent reduction in latency, for quicker access to data, operating at 65-microsecond latency compared to approximately 4,000 microseconds for an HDD.

"Our goal was to not only be first to achieve 34nm NAND flash memory lithography, but to do so with the same or better performance than our 50nm version," said Randy Wilhelm, Intel vice president and general manager, Intel NAND Solutions Group. "We made quite an impact with our breakthrough SSDs last year, and by delivering the same or even better performance with today's new products, our customers, both consumers and manufacturers, can now enjoy them at a fraction of the cost."

The move to 34nm will help lower prices of the SSDs up to 60 percent. New channel prices for the X25-M 80 GB are $225 for quantities up to 1,000 units. The 160 GB version is $440 (down from $945 at introduction) for quantities up to 1,000 units.

Oh, and how can you tell if which X25-M you might be buying? The new ones are silver while the old ones are black.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.