Intel may sell its NAND division to rival SK Hynix, but nonetheless, the company will introduce a new, faster M.2 670P solid state drive as well as an updated Optane Memory drive.
Intel introduces the 670P solid state drive, which is a continuation of its popular low-cost 660P solid state drive. Like its predecessor, the 670P will be based on raw QLC NAND using a new 144-layer design.
The new 670P will have a new generation controller and support for Pyrite 2.0 encryption and is rated at 150 terabytes per day, recorded on 512GB of capacity. Intel says performance will improve thanks to better dynamic SLC cache.
QLC drives store four bits of data in a cell to load as much data as possible into NAND memory. This increases NAND capacity, but usually results in significant performance. To compensate for this, disk manufacturers configure unused NAND capacity as SLC (single-tier cell) as a cache to improve performance.
Like most drives, the cache is dynamic and increases and decreases depending on capacity. Along with the 670P, Intel said it has improved that cache size by about 11 percent over previous 660P and 660P models. For example, a blank 2 TB 670P drive, as a cache, will be allocated 280 GB. About 24 GB will be the static cache, which will remain the same regardless of disk capacity, and 256 GB will be allocated for the dynamic cache.
After all, consumers should see higher performance than a relatively inexpensive class of solid state drives. Intel said it would sell three capacities next year: 2TB, 1TB and 512GB. Prices have not been announced, but these drives will have to compete on the SSD playing field, where there is an oversupply of NAND.
New Optane Memory H20 drive
Other Intel news about consumer solid state drives is a new iteration of the Optane Memory H10. Like its predecessor, the Optane Memory H20 will be built using up to 1 TB of QLC NAND and 32 GB of Optane memory from Intel. Optane offers less latency compared to traditional NAND, but may not match its density and price.
By using Optane memory as a high-speed multi-level storage, Optane Memory drives can make huge dents in common tasks such as opening and launching applications and games. With the Optane Memory H20 Intel has announced that it has upgraded 3D XPoint Media and switched to the same new 144-layer QLC NAND.
Unlike conventional NAND solid state drives, which are considered by the system as single drives, Optane Memory drives are actually two drives, but they are still considered by the system as single drives when Intel RST Drive and the supporting BIOS are configured to support it.
To use Intel’s Optane Memory H20, you will need an 11th generation “U” series processor and a 500 series chipset. These requirements largely telegraph that the new Optane Memory drive will be transmitted primarily to laptops.
The new disc will arrive only in the second quarter of 2021. Intel did not actually disclose the pricing and performance of both M.2 drives.
The 670P will of course use NAND, manufactured at the Intel Fab 68 factory in China, which the company sells for sale to SK Hynix. The Optane Memory H20 will use NAND from Fab 68, as well as memory produced in a joint Micron / Intel partnership. Despite the quick sale, Intel will likely continue to sell the drives.
The world’s fastest solid state drive
In areas that won’t see service on consumer PCs, Intel has also showcased what it claims is not only the world’s fastest Optane drive, but also the fastest central drive: the P5800X.
The drive will support PCie 4.0 and is designed for a serial read speed of 7.2 Gbps and a serial write speed of 6.2 GB. Random reading and writing of 4K IOPS is estimated at 1.5 million and up to 1.8 million IOPS on mixed 70/30 random IOPs.
“It’s the world’s fastest solid state drive,” said Intel’s David Tuchy. “It’s a terrific product, we’re very proud of that. We think it changed the game. “
Comparing it to NAND-based drives would be unfair, so Intel said it was comparing it to the previous Optane P4800X, where it said the new P5800X offers 3 times mixed random read and 3 times serial bandwidth. This is a huge advantage of IOPS that Optane had over traditional NAND, which continues to pay off, Intel said.
One illustrative example given by the company is the use of Optane drives to buffer high-speed network performance over 100 Gbps optical networks.
Intel said the 400GB P5800X Optane drives were able to effectively prevent network buffering without saturation. You will need seven disks to use your own 3.2 TB D7-5600 solid state drives.