Intel unveils PCIe SSD range


Intel today announced a new range of solid state drives (SSDs), signalling its first move into the PCI Express (PCIe) market.

The Intel SSD 910 series focuses on the data centre to provide faster performance for storage thanks to the speed improvements of PCIe connections over traditional SATA used in its SSDs up until now but also plans to ensure long life for the products.

Using its internally developed High Endurance Technology, Intel claims it can improve the lifetime of an SSD, which often loses performance as more writes occur, by 30 per cent. This equates to the multi-level cell (MLC) 25nm NAND flash memory of the SSD being able to handle up to 10 full drive writes every day for five years, according to the firm.

Being PCIe-based enables the SSDs to be plugged into servers or storage with little disruption and without the need for new or customised hardware in the datacentre. Intel claims one of the 910 series could replace "multiple" 15,000 rpm hard disk drives (HDDs), which means savings in cost for both space and power consumption.

Other performance figures released by Intel said the 910 series could achieve 2Gbps sequential reads and 1GBps sequential writes, along with 180,000 4K random read IOPS and 75,000 random write IOPS.

"The Intel SSD 910 Series is a complete solution that delivers on all fronts highperformance, endurance and reliability making it ideal for replacing I/O-intensive HDDs," said Roger Peene, director of data centre SSD marketing for the Intel non-volatile memory solutions group.

"As a leader in SSD technology, data centre IT professionals can have confidence in a tier-one, easy-to-install SSD solution backed by Intel quality, reliability and technical support."

There are two capacities available wither 400GB or 800GB and whilst samples are available now, general availability isn't expected until the middle of 2012.

Pricing comes in at $1,929 for the 400GB SSD and goes up to $3,859 for the 800GB, but both include a five year warranty.

Intel already sells a number of SSDs, such as the Intel 700 and 300 SSD series. However, this is its first time to market including the high performance PCIe technology.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.