Intel 710 and 720 Series Overview

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Intel has already launched several new SSDs in 2011 and more are on the way. The German site ComputerBase.de has managed to dig up some specifics on the new enterprise solutions in the Intel 710 and 720 series, which are SATA and PCI-Express products respectively.

Intel’s 710-series – also known as Lyndonville – will build on 25 nm HET (High Endurance Technology) MLC NAND flash memory with technology and a 64 MB cache.”High Endurance” MLC NAND might sound like a contradiction in terms for some readers, but Micron and Intel have somehow managed to squeeze out up to ten times the number of write cycles compared to the Multi-Level Cell NAND found in the consumer products. This is still far short of SLC (Single-Level Cell) memory modules, but a major improvement nonetheless. Below is an overview by Micron.

Like their consumer counterparts in the 320 series, the 710 SSDs will be SATA II 3.0GBps only and the capacities in the Lyndonville drives will be 100GB, 200GB and 300GB with a performance rating of up to 270 MB/s read and 210 MB/s writing. IOPS performance will be 36,000 reading and 2,400 writing 4K files. The data is encrypted with 128-bit AES.

The PCIe-based 720 series–also known as Ramsdale–sounds like an even more interesting alternative for enterprise users and comes in 200GB and 400GB capacities. It uses older and more reliable 34nm SLD NAND combined with 512 MB of cache. Ramsdale will offer read and write speeds of up to 2200MB/s and 1800 MB/s respectively and its 4K IOPS figures are 180,000 for reading and 56,000 for random writes. in this device, the data is encrypted with 256-bit AES.

If we are to believe the rumor mill, the 710-series enters mass production in July, while the 720 arrives sometime in the third quarter. There’s no word on prices yet, but expect them to be high. It’s interesting to note in the chart below that the MTBF rating is still hanging in there, although it is obviously completely obsolete when you can compare it directly to endurance.

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