Intel doubles capacity of its data center SSD

intel ssd dc s3500 series m.2

Intel's latest S3500 M.2 form factor flash drive.

Credit: Intel

Intel’s M.2 form factor S3500 SSD is no longer just a boot drive

Intel today announced upgrades to its Solid-State Drive DC S3500 Series of products that now offer up to 1.6TB of capacity, double what the previous generation had.

Intel also announced it has boosted the capacity of its M.2 form factor flash expansion card so that it can be used as a mass storage device and not simply a client boot drive.

The new S3500 M.2 expansion card comes in 80GB, 120GB and 340GB models.

"We do have customers asking for higher capacity on drives and we were able to accommodate it," said David Ackerson, an Intel data center product line manager.

intel ssd dc s3500 series high capacity Intel

Intel's S3500 2.5-in. form factor SSD now comes in capacities of up to 1.6TB.

Intel added to the M.2 card the same features that it had previously only offered in larger form factor SSDs, such as hardware-based AES 256-bit encryption and power loss protection.

“In addition to [acting as a boot drive], we expect M.2 will appeal to traditional server manufacturers that plan to offer smaller form factor servers. The S3500 M.2 provides data center performance in a small, sleek form factor to meet the needs of boot and traditional server applications," Ackerson said.

The M.2 card could also be used as mass storage for digital signage, ATMs and other types of customer-facing devices such as digital slot machines, Ackerson added.

The M.2 flash card has a sequential read/write performance of up to 500MBps and 460MBps, respectively and a random performance of 67,000 read I/Os per second (IOPS) and 8,300 write IOPS.

"Basically, you're getting all the performance of the 2.5-in. drive in a new form factor," Ackerson said. The S3500 SSD also comes in a 1.8-in. form factor.

The new 2.5-in. S3500 SSD models have a top performance of 75,000 read IOPS and 18,500 write IOPS.

Up to 19% of Intel's M.2 flash card is overprovisioned to increase write speeds; up to 10% of the new 2.5-in. SSD is used for the same purpose. The flash drives also have from 256MB to 1GB of DRAM depending on their overall flash capacity.

Intel's latest S3500 2.5-in form factor SSD comes in two new capacities, 1.2TB and 1.6TB. Previously, the drive was available with up to 800GB of capacity.

The S3500 series SSDs can sustain up to three full drive writes per day -- 880TB in writes over a lifetime. They have a 2-million hours mean time between failures rating, according to Intel. Both the 2.5-in. and the M.2 S3500 SSDs come with five-year warranties.

Intel also upgraded its NAND flash controller with additional I/O paths to address the higher density products.

Intel has set its recommended customer pricing for the 2.5-in. S3500 SSD at $1,099 for the 1.2TB version and $1,444 for the 1.6TB drive. The M.2 card will sell for $99 for 80GB, $124 for 120GB and $314 for 340GB.

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