Intel has begun the release of its new Intel 335 series SSD, the first Intel’s solid state drives that incorporates multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash 20nm memories manufactured by Intel and Micron by its IM Flash Technologies alliance.
These drives have SATA 6.0 Gbps and enhance a SandForce SF-2281 controller with Intel firmware, for now, the only model that is shipped to market is the 240 GB with sequential read and write of 500 MB/s and 450 MB/s, with a 42.000/52.000 IOPS performance in reading and writing 4KB blocks. Intel will launch probably other models of 120 GB, 60 GB or 180GB, but perhaps is hoping to reduce as much as possible the stock of Intel 330 units available in these capacities but not 240 GB.
Intel has indicated that these units do not offer substantial performance improvements over previous Intel 330 series launched in April this year (25nm NAND Flash), the difference is that these new drives use 20nm Flash Memory “the smaller and more efficient MLC NAND Flash memories in the market, “according to Intel because of a new highly efficient cell structure that uses Hi-K/metal gate technology to achieve a large reduction in the power consumption of these units. Great for miniPCs such as HTPCs.
According to this technical reports these new units have a power consumption of 350mW and 275mW in idle operation, that is respectively 41% and 45% less consumption that the Intel 330 units.
For now, the 240 GB drive has a price of $195 and comes with 3 years warranty. Intel also offers an updated Intel SSD Toolbox with improved support for Windows 8, which allows you to update and maintain these units in perfect condition.