Intel Debuts 3rd-Generation Data Center SSD

Solid state drive with high-endurance technology extends life by allowing 10 full-capacity drive writes per day for five years.

November 2, 2012

3 Min Read
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Intel's Tech Roadmap: Visual Tour

Intel's Tech Roadmap: Visual Tour

Intel's Tech Roadmap: Visual Tour (click image for larger view and for slideshow)

Intel announced Monday its newest solid state drive (SSD). The SSD DC S3700 drive is the third generation of Intel SSD products developed specifically for data center use. IT staff and OEMs will find that the SATA 3 (6 Gbps) interfaced drive, in both 2.5-inch and 1.8-inch form factors, will easily install in both servers and storage arrays. The new product delivers substantially higher performance at a lower cost per capacity than Intel's prior 710 SSD.

The new drive introduces a new, albeit longer, naming convention. DC S3700 stands for Data Center SATA 3 model 700. It includes high-endurance technology (HET), Intel's term for its NAND flash components produced by the Intel-Micron Flash Technology (IMFT) joint venture in Utah.

The HET components are made specifically for data center applications and extend the drive's endurance beyond what can be achieved using standard multi-level cell (MLC) NAND Flash. Although a workstation or laptop might have only a few full drive-writes during its entire life, data center applications might write the full drive several times per day. This characteristic of flash memory is known as the program-erase cycle limit, referring to the wear and tear on the physical devices. The drive uses 25nm two-bit-per-cell multi-level cell (MLC) technology.

[ Read How To Choose Best SSD For Midsize Data Centers. ]

The S3700 delivers up to 75,000 input-outputs per second (IOPs) for 4 KB random-read operations, and up to 36,000 random-write IOPs with typical 65 microsecond latency. Data protection within the drive is another serious consideration in the data center. Intel has incorporated a cyclic redundancy check (CRC) along with error detection and correction ECC encoding. In addition, the write cache within the drive uses static RAM (SRAM) technology, and other pieces of control information that are not data are kept in a capacitor-protected DRAM buffer. Also provided is 256-bit AES encryption.

The 2.5-inch drives are available in capacities of 100 GB, 200 GB, 400 GB and 800 GB. The 1.8-inch drives are available in capacities of 200 GB and 400 GB.

IDC expects worldwide SSD shipments to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 51.5% from 2010 to 2015, and for pricing to fall below $1 per gigabyte in the second half of 2012.

Intel's price for the new SSDs does not meet that projection. The 2.5-inch Intel SSD DC S3700 Series is $235 for 100 GB, $470 for 200 GB, $940 for 400 GB, and $1,880 for 800 GB, based on 1,000-unit quantities. The 1.8-inch drive is $495 for 200 GB, and $965 for 400 GB. Prices include a five-year limited warranty.

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