Intel’s upcoming 660P SSD has been spotted on numerous computer hardware retailers from Europe. The 660P is an M.2 form factor SSD at PCIe 3.0 x4 with NVMe. The interesting thing about this is the appealing price tag it carries.

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The 660P is Intel’s first QLC NAND-based consumer SSD developed with 64-layer 3D memory. The SSDs are expected to deliver sequential read and write speeds in the range of around 1800 and 1100 MB/s.  Random access reading and writing of 4k blocks delivered 150,000 input-output operations per second.

As mentioned earlier, the 660P has the standard M.2 2280 form factor and uses a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface. Since the Intel 660P is a Quad-level Cell NAND-based SSD, it is capable of storing up to 4 bits per cell compared to 3 bits per cell on the more common Triple-level Cell NAND. This leads to an increased data density on a single chip and allows the manufacturers to deliver the same capacity with fewer chips, which, in turn, leads to low production costs and ultimately reduced retail prices of the final product. Adding more bits also has an effect on the life-span of the NAND cell, and it may lead to a reduction in the number of times the SSD can be written. New advancements like error-correction mechanism and wearing have increased the life-span of these SSDs to an extent.

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Intel 660P SSD will be available in 512, 1024 and 2048 GB variants each priced at $131.1(€112.9), $254.17(€218.9) and $501.48(€431.9) respectively according to Austrian online price comparison site, Geizhals. The pricing translates to a $0.25 per gigabyte of storage, which puts it in the same price bracket as of a typical SATA SSD.

 

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Details about the availability of the 660P haven’t been revealed by Intel yet. Some rumors suggest a launch in the second half of this year. According to PC-Canada, we can expect these SSDs to be in stock by August 25.

“Commercialization of 1Tb 4bits/cell is a big milestone in NVM history and is made possible by numerous innovations in technology and design that further extend the capability of our Floating Gate 3D NAND technology,” said RV Giridhar, Intel vice president, Non-Volatile Memory Technology Development. “The move to 4bits/cell enables compelling new operating points for density and cost in Datacenter and Client storage.”

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Not to forget that The Flash Memory Summit will be taking place on August 7 and Intel may use this as an opportunity to officially unveil the Intel 660P SSD lineup, its first QLC NAND-based SSD series. Other players like Toshiba and Western Digital are also going to plunge into the QLC based SSD market. As one would expect, this is going to be a great year for SSD storage.

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