Not content to dominate the server processor market, Intel is setting its sights on data center storage with the its new DC S3700 line of solid-state drives (SSDs).
The drives sport a 6 Gbps SATA interface and deliver 500 MB per second reads and 460 MB per second writes. Compared to its predecessors, the Intel 710 SSDs, DC S3700 drives offer up to 2x read and 15x write performance, says Intel.
Capacity options include 100 GB, 200 GB, 400 GB and 800 GB for the 2.5-inch models. The compact 1.8-inch variant is only available in 200 GB and 400 GB flavors.
By Intel's estimates, DC S3700 SSDs achieve up to 75,000 IOPS during 4KB random read operations, 36,000 IOPS during 4KB writes and sequential write latencies of 65 microseconds. The chipmaker also claims that the new SSDs deliver "high Quality of Service (QOS) of less than 500 microseconds 99.9 percent of the time."
Blistering performance won't do much good if the drives don't last. Intel says that it has exorcised the specter of failure-prone SSDs with new advancements to its multi-level cell (MLC) technology.
DC S3700 SSDs feature the company's High Endurance Technology, which combines NAND management software with improvements to the underlying silicon to stretch MLC's useful life into single-level cell (SLC) territory. As a result, a DC S3700 unit can endure "10 full drive writes per day over the 5-year life of the drive," says Intel.
Intel Eyes Data Center Storage
It's not the first time the company has aimed its flash storage technology at the enterprise. Earlier this year, the company launched its SSD 910 line of PCIe cards aimed at the hot application server caching market.
For the DC S3700 line, Intel is positioning the new SSDs as fast, high-performance storage counterparts for big parallel multithreaded computing workloads powered by multicore server processors like the latest batch of Sandy Bridge Xeons. Not bridging the performance gap between storage and compute could have dire consequences for data center operators, particularly those in the booming cloud services space, argues Rob Crooke, vice president and general manager for the Intel Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group.
"High latencies and slow storage I/O can cripple data centers' ability to deliver exciting big data or cloud-computing applications with fast, low latency data access," says Crooke in a statement. Naturally, his company is on the case.
"Intel's next-generation Intel SSD DC S3700 Series breaks through SSD limitations for the data center on all fronts – fast, consistent performance, strong data protection and high endurance -- so IT professionals can deliver on their most demanding technology initiatives," informs Crooke.
Intel is currently sampling DC S3700 SSDs. Volume production is set to start in early 2013. Prices start at $235 for the 100 GB, 2.5-inch model. A 200 GB, 1.8-inch DC S3700 SSD will cost $495 at retail.