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.