INTEL HAS announced the first commercially available, 64-layer, Triple Level Cell (TLC), 3D-NAND solid state drive (SSD).
To quote Intel's Rob Crooke, who is SVP and GM of the NVM Solutions Group: "While others have been talking about it, we have delivered".
To those who don't speak chip, basically what he is saying is that Intel has made a very fast, very affordable SSD drive.
But unlike the WD Blue, which is due in Q3, not only is Intel announcing the SSD 545, it is actually putting it on sale in the US today.
To give you an idea, a 512GB SATA III drive from the range is on sale at an introductory price of $179.99 (£140). Compare this with Crucial's current flagship MX300 drive which is the standard 32-layer (we're using the 525GB as the nearest comparable size). It's also currently available in the UK for the same price.
Performance-wise, it offers a max sequential read/write of 550/500MBps, with a maximum random read/write of 75k/90k IOPS.
Now, that's actually a lower sequential write speed and a lower random read speed that the Crucial, which suggests to us that whilst its definitely a technical achievement, it doesn't represent a quantum leap in performance, only that it opens the door to a possible one down the line.
There's AES 256 bit encryption onboard and its active power consumption is 90mW, which should keep your battery lasting that bit longer.
Rob Crooke continues in classic marketing speak: "This next generation of process leadership will enable a smooth, easy migration and validation cycle for our existing data centre customers from today's 32-layer products to 64-layer product extensions.
"It also enables an expanded product portfolio that supports new business client and embedded products. We have very strong generational synergy in our factories and expect a fast ramp of bit supply based on 64-layer, TLC, 3D NAND by mid-2018.
"Realising the promise of the future is about bringing data and compute closer together for a better experience."
In other words, Intel is dead chuffed and is improving all the time and it's only going to get better, says Intel. Why he can't just say that, we have no idea. There's also no news on UK stock, but we're sure it'll be along soon. µ
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