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Monday, February 06, 2012
Intel Releases SandForce-based 520 Series SSDs


Intel today released its fastestsolid-state drive (SSD) to date, the Intel Solid-State Drive 520 Series (Intel SSD 520), a 6 gigabit-per-second (gbps) SATA III SSD produced using Intel 25nm NAND memory process technology.

Aimed at PC enthusiasts, gamers, professionals or small-medium businesses (SMBs), Intel SSD 520 is based on the the SandForce SF-2281 LSI, it has and fast throughput performance and new security features.

The Intel SSD 520 delivers up to 80,000 maximum 4K random write Input-Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) and up to 50,000 4K random read IOPS to speed through every day operations. Sequential read performance is up to 550 megabytes-per-second (MB/s) and up to 520MB/s sequential writes. This is backed by a 5-year limited warranty.



The Intel SSD 520 will mark the high end of its client SSD offerings and include these new features: a range of user capacities from 60GB to 480GB, Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256 bit encryption capabilities and stronger password protection for added security in the event of theft or power loss.

According to the early reviews of the new drive, it seems to be on par with the current speed king, OCZ's Vertex 3, although it additionally features high random write speeds , meaning that Intel and SandForce have optimized the firmware with the NAND. However, Intel's new SSD series is expensive. You'll have to spend $149 for the 60GB model, $229 for 120GB, $369 for 180GB, $509 for 240GB and almost $1000 for 480GB. Obviously these prices are well above the prices of competitive SSDs.

Specifications:

Capacity: 60/120/180/240/480 GB

Components:
- Intel 25nm NAND Flash Memory
- Multi-Level Cell (MLC)

Form Factor: 2.5-inch

Thickness: 7 mm and 9.5 mm
- 7 mm: 120/180/240 GB
- 9.5 mm: 60/120/180/240/480 GB

Weight: Up to 78 grams

SATA 6Gb/s Bandwidth Performance (Iometer Queue Depth 32)
- Sustained Sequential Read: Up to 550 MB/s
- Sustained Sequential Write:Up to 520 MB/s

Read and Write IOPS (Iometer Queue Depth 32)
- Random 4 KB Reads: Up to 50,000 IOPS
- Random 4 KB Writes: Up to 80,000 IOPS

Latency (average sequential)
- Read: 80 ms (TYP)
- Write: 85 ms (TYP)

Data Compression
AES 256-bit Encryption
End-to-End Data Protection

Compatibility

- Intel SSD Toolbox with Intel SSD Optimizer
- Intel Data Migration Software
- Intel Rapid Storage Technology
- Intel 6 Series Express Chipsets (with SATA 6Gb/s)
- SATA Revision 3.0
- ACS-2 SSD-enhanced SMART ATA feature set
- Native Command Queuing (NCQ) command set
- Data Set Management Command Trim attribute

Power Management
- 5 V SATA Supply Rail
- SATA Link Power Management (LPM)

Power
- Active (MobileMark 2007 Workload): 850 mW (TYP)
- Idle: 600 mW (TYP)

Temperature
- Operating: 0o C to 70o C
- Non-Operating: -55o C to 95o C

Reliability

- Uncorrectable Bit Error Rate (UBER): < 1 sector per 1016 bits read
-Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF): 1,200,000 hours

Shock (operating and non-operating):1,500 G/0.5 msec

Vibration
- Operating: 2.17 GRMS (5-700 Hz)
- Non-operating: 3.13 GRMS (5-800 Hz)


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