Intel claims highest performing SSD

Intel's Cherryville
The fastest consumer SSD in the Autumn?

Intel reckons its next consumer SSD, code-named Cherryville, will be the fastest SSD on the market when it launches this Autumn.

It briefly disclosed a few details of Cherryville at today's round of technical sessions at this year's Intel Developer Forum (IDF), hidden amongst a sea of enterprise-level announcements.

The Cherryville SSD will be based on 25nm multi-level cell (MLC) NAND memory and, according to Troy Winslow, Marketing Manager of Intel's NAND Solutions Group, will be "the highest performing SSD in the marketplace."

That's quite a claim with the likes of OCZ's Vertex 3, ADATA's S511 and Patriot's Wildfire SSDs already pretty much maxing out the bandwidth of the SATA 6Gbps interface.

"The Cherryville product will be a no compromise solution," said Winslow. "It will have better sequential and better random than any prior SSD from Intel and will lead the industry."

All those other drives run with the latest and greatest SandForce memory controller, the SF 2281. Intel studiously left off what controller it was using for this newest drive, despite releasing news about the proprietary Intel controller on its later Smart Response-based Hawley Creek mSATA SSD.

So you'd think it wasn't going to be an Intel controller in the Cherryville product; so whose controller could it be?

There's a possibility that it will use a Marvell controller similar to the SATA 6Gbps Intel 510 edition SSD, though that wouldn't necessarily give it the performance lead Winslow is confident of.

More likely Intel is avoiding Marvell or its own controller's for its high-end consumer SSD and jumping on the SandForce bandwagon with some seriously funky firmware to give it that boost.

The drive will be out in a few short months mind – we should have samples in mid-October – and we'll know for sure then, but it could be a landmark moment for both Intel SSDs.