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Pricing cuts will spur greater SSD adoption

Intel is lowering prices on several of its SSDs in a response to increased competition in the burgeoning SSD market. The world's largest semiconductor company makes SSDs using NAND flash produced by IM Flash Technologies, an Intel joint venture with Micron Technologies.

The X25-M series of mainstream 2.5-inch SSDs, which use Multi-Level Cell flash, is the target of the price cuts. The 160GB model will receive a $100 price cut off the MSRP, while the 80GB model will drop $50 in price. However, the street prices are much lower, as retailers react to demand for the popular Vertex series of SSDs produced by OCZ Technology.

Increased production and competition has forced a dramatic drop in prices. Intel launched its 160GB X25-M drive for $945 just four short months ago. Today, it is available for two-thirds of its original price, a savings of over $300. The price for the 80GB model has been cut almost in half since its launch.

Intel will also be making available more 80GB and 160GB SSDs in the 1.8-inch form factor. The retail supply of the X18-M series has been limited since its launch. These drives are used mostly in netbooks and smaller laptops which are space constrained.

Meanwhile, the X25-E series targeted at the enterprise server market will also soon face pricing and capacity pressure from OCZ and Super Talent.

Super Talent will soon be shipping SLC-based SSDs with up to 256GB of storage, which OCZ will counter with their Vertex EX series targeting the enterprise server and tiered storage markets.

Intel will fight back in this lucrative market, with designs for a 128GB SLC drive and a 320GB SSD using 34nm MLC NAND chips. They are expected to be released later in 2009.



December 2008

February 2009

April 2009

 X25-M 80GB




 X25-M 160GB




X18-M 80GB




 X25-E 32GB




 X25-E 64GB




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Continue that trend!
By Kibbles on 4/28/2009 12:22:58 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm, so in 4 months they dropped the price by 33%. If the trend continues in Aug it'll be $420, Dec it'll be $280, and next April will be $187. I'll definently buy it by next April, if the trend continues that is.

RE: Continue that trend!
By Kibbles on 4/28/2009 12:24:30 PM , Rating: 2
Oh I forgot to clarify that I meant the X-25M 160GB

RE: Continue that trend!
By HotFoot on 4/28/2009 12:39:21 PM , Rating: 2
Aye, this is great. I remember not so long ago (well a few years) I paid $90 for a 512 MB USB flash stick. Those things are so cheap they're practically disposable now.

I wouldn't mind this getting cheap enough to put on my Christmas wish list this year (and not feel greedy).

RE: Continue that trend!
By Helbore on 4/28/2009 3:27:34 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't be surprised if that trend continues.

SSD seems to have reached that point where enough manufacturers have decent products on the market for economies of scale to start positively impacting the price. NAND flash production is going up, whilst its production techniques are improving. Add to that a bit of healthy competition and that puts SSD right in the bracket of "rapidly-emerging market."

I wouldn't be surprised if we see drives twice the size at half the cost in 12 months time.

Magnetic hard drives better get their capacity rocketing up and fast, or they'll likely be a dead technology in five years or less. (personally, I expect they will, though, based on what I've read - and then we'll have two different drive technologies in the market, confusing the hell out of all the laymen out there!)

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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