Intel 6Gb SATA SSD 520 Using 25nm Arriving

With LSI SandForce controller, 480GB at $999 in Q1,000
This is a Press Release edited by on 2012.02.07

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Intel Corporation announced its fastest, most robust client/consumer
SSD, the Solid-State Drive 520
, a 6 gigabit-per-second SATA III SSD produced using
Intel compute-quality 25-nanometer NAND memory process technology.


Aimed at delivering performance for the PC enthusiasts, gamers, SMBs,
the SSD 520 has throughput performance, new security features and
reliability to meet the intensive user requirements.

Any consumer application requiring high throughput and bandwidth, low
latencies and accelerated speed will benefit from the SSD 520. Software
developers, architects, accountants, engineers, musicians, media
creators and artists are just some of the professionals that will find
that the SSD 520's package of features can make an impact on their
productivity. With faster performance for graphic renderings, compiling,
data transfers and system boot-ups, users can speed through
multi-tasking or once-cumbersome application wait times with SSD 520

"We tapped Intel engineering to create a client SSD that delivers
performance on all fronts with obsessively high reliability,
" said Rob
Crooke, Intel vice president and general manager of the Intel
Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group. "The Intel SSD 520 once again
raises the industry bar on SSD performance, quality and reliability to
dramatically improve user experience.

Unlike a traditional HDD with spinning disks and moveable parts, an SSD
is based on silicon, NAND flash memory specifically, to create a lower
power, more reliable and faster storage solution that can keep up with
today's most demanding applications, Internet streaming and intense

Based on its own 25nm Intel compute-quality NAND flash memory and a
6gbps SATA III interface, the SSD 520 uses an LSI SandForce Flash
Storage Processor with an Intel co-defined and validated firmware
release, to create an SSD that sets new industry performance benchmarks.
It delivers up to 80,000 maximum 4K random write IOPS and up to 50,000
4K random read IOPS. Sequential read performance of up to 550MB/s and up
to 520MB/s sequential writes
also accelerate and improve user
productivity. This is backed by thousands of hours of Intel testing and
validation, including more than 5,000 individual tests.

"We worked closely with Intel to leverage their deep understanding of
the NAND flash, ultimately providing a unique and optimized solution for
client computing applications with the LSI SandForce Flash Storage
," said Michael Raam, vice president and general manager of
LSI's Flash Components Division, formed by LSI's acquisition of
SandForce. "Working through Intel's extensive validation process ensures
the Intel 520 SSD will raise the bar in delivering top-tier performance
and superior quality and reliability over the life of the drive

The 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, AES 256 bit encryption capabilities and password protection for
added security in the event of theft or power loss.

According to PCMark Vantage benchmarking, users of the SSD 520 may see
productivity gains through an up to 78 percent boost in overall PC
responsiveness, and gamers will see an up to 88 percent jump in
performance to enhance their gaming experience. IT professionals will
not only provide this additional performance and productivity to their
customers/employees, but find that the Intel SSD 520 also delivers on
reliability, improved security, smoother operations and lower total
operational costs.

"Our game development workflow involves a combination of large batch
process and aggressive interactive pre-visualization, all highly
parallelized to the point that the storage performance becomes a major
" said John Carmack, founder and technical director of id
, a gaming software developer and
creators of Doom and Quake. "For many of our workloads, Intel SSDs have
doubled throughput, and in some cases involving mapping tens of
gigabytes of image data, we have seen an honest order of magnitude
performance improvement, which is a rare and wonderful thing

The SSD 520 Series is priced as follows, based on 1,000-unit quantities:
60GB for $149, 120GB at $229, 180GB at $369, 240GB at $509 and 480GB at

It comes with a 5-year limited warranty.