Storage - Published on Thursday, 28 April 2011 10:50 Written by Anton Karmehed
Larsen Creek, or Intel 311 series of SSDs, arrived just days ago in the news, but we have managed to dig up some more information on the new series that builds on SLC NAND flash. At the same time we can now confirm that Intel is working on no less than 4 new SSDs series for 2011; Intel 520, Intel 710, Intel 720 and an even "smaller" Intel 3xx series.
Intel aready has three SSD families named Intel 310 "Soda Creek", Intel 510 "Elmcrest" and Intel 320 "Postville Refresh". We at NordicHardware did a thurough investigation of the first two retail models; Intel 510 and Intel 320, and now it seems like we can prepare ourselves for a whole lot more from Intel in the latter half of 2011.
The chip giant is aiming to broaden its SSD assortment and is planning five new series where recently revealed Larsen Creek is one of the highlights. The series is expected to be launched as Intel 311 and get only 20GB capacity and use a SATA 3.0 Gbps interface. The formfactor will be either 2.5" SATA or mSATA. The most interesting is that the product is positioned as a "cache product" and that the memory circuits are SLC.
Single-level Cell NAND flash offers higher performance than the tranditional MLC circuits, but houses less data and costs more to make. How this will affect performance and the price of the new Larsen Creek series is unclear, but it will be an exciting product. Interestingly the launch is slated for Q3, but according to our sources the unit may launch as early as May 11th alongside of the Intel Z68 chipset.
Intel is planning four more SSD series this year and they will end up in different ends of the market. The Intel 700 series will consist of Intel 710 "Lyndonville" with SATA 3.0 Gbps interface and 25nm MLC-HET NAND circuits. While Intel 720 "Ramsdale" looks to become Intel's first PCI Express SSD with 6.0 Gbps interface and 34nm SLC NAND flash.
The Intel 500 family is expanded in the form of Intel 520 "Cherryville" in Q4, sporting SATA 6.0 Gbps and 25nm MLC NAND flash memory. The capacity will vary between 64GB and 480GB.
Last and not least it seems we will get a new entry level product in the Intel 300 family code-named "Paint Creek". It will get a mSATA interface with 3.0 Gbps bandwidth and 25nm MLC NAND.
Intel confused us with its earlier SSD launches this year, but judging from this new information all of the pieces fall into place and 2011 is now looking a lot better for Intel on the SSD side of things.