Intel intros high-endurance solid-state drive

Intel says its upcoming DC S3700 solid-state drive has a capacity of up to 800GB and a much longer life span than usual.

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CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.
Dong Ngo
Intel's DC S3700 solid-state drive
Intel's DC S3700 solid-state drive Intel

Intel on Monday introduced its latest solid-state drive, the DC S3700, which offers up to 800GB of storage space and will become available in early 2013.

The chip maker says the drive incorporates a new technology called High Endurance Technology (HET) that leads to much better endurance. Basically, the new drive can handle 10 full drive writes per day and still last a full 5-year life span for its lowest capacities. For the highest, 800GB capacity, this translates into a life span of almost 200 years should you choose to use it for video editing constantly.

The reason endurance is important in SSDs is that flash memory generally suffers from limited program/erase (PE) cycles, meaning each of the memory cells can be written on only so many times before it becomes unreliable.

In general, this is not a big problem since most drives will still last much longer than needed before their PE cycles run out. Nonetheless, Intel's HET further increases this PE limit.

According to Intel, the upcoming DC S3700 SSD offers write performance of up to 36,000 IOPS and random read performance of up to 75,000 IOPS.

The drive will be available in the traditional 2.5-inch design in 100GB, 200GB, 400GB, and 800GB capacities, which are estimated to cost $235, $470, $940, and $1,880, respectively. There are also 200GB and 400GB capacities that come in the new 1.8-inch design for ultraportable devices, priced at $495 and $965 respectively.