Intel is currently shipping 80GB MLC (multi-level cell) drives into the market, at $595 in quantities of 1,000. The 2.5-inch form factor is known as the Intel X25-M, while the 1.8-inch drives are the X18-M. End-user prices will probably be well north of $600. MLC NAND flash holds two bits of data per cell, and has traditionally been slower than SLC (single level cell) flash. Intel is also shipping 32GB SLC drives into the high-end server market, but those drives weren't available for testing. What MLC NAND flash brings to the table is capacity. Intel's 80GB drives and their upcoming 160GB drives are MLC, but Intel is making aggressive performance claims for them.
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