Intel touts SSD breakthrough

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Intel touts SSD breakthrough

Intel's 34nm drives could send prices falling.

Intel is claiming a new line of solid state drives (SSD) which the company hopes will bring drive costs down significantly.

The company said that its new line of SSDs will allow for prices to fall as low as 60 percent from the current cost.

The drop, according to Intel, is due to the use of new 34nm (nanometre) NAND flash memory chips in place of the older 50nm chips. The smaller die size afforded by the 34nm process allows for a lower production cost, making the drives as a whole cheaper to manufacture and more efficient.

The company is planning to price the first of the new drives, the 80GB X25-M, to system builders at a cost of US$225 per unit. The new model will replace a drive of the same size which cost US$595.

"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, vice president and general manager for Intel's 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."

Intel is hoping that the lower costs could widen the potential market for SSD hardware. Though the solid state drives are faster and more efficient than disc-based drives, the high cost of manufacturing has limited the technology to high end and specialised systems.

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