Intel Braidwood is low-cost option for faster PCs

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Intel Braidwood is low-cost option for faster PCs

Cliff Saran

Hard disc caching technology developed by Intel could speed up the operation of PCs, a new report has concluded.

The report - Intel's Braidwood: death to the SSD - by Objective Analysis has found that Intel's Braidwood technology offers comparable performance and power consumption improvements to solid state drives (SSDs), but at considerably lower costs.

Both SSD and Braidwood rely on a type of memory chip, known as Nand. While SSDs use large arrays of Nand chips to create large-capacity SSDs, Braidwood uses smaller capacities - up to 16Gbytes of Nand - to create an intelligent disc cache.

From a cost per gigabyte perspective, the report predicted SSDs would likely remain about 20 times as expensive as a hard disc drive (HDD), making it an expensive option for providing large volumes of storage on desktop PCs.

The report states, "The benefits that SSDs bring to the PC environment (faster boot-up and application launch times and a nominal increase in battery life) are not generally found to warrant a significant price increase."

Since Braidwood requires less Nand memory, Jim Handy, the report's author, said, "Braidwood would add $10 to the cost of a PC, compared with $200 for SSDs."

The report also notes that since the Nand is not hidden behind a disc interface, the data communication between Braidwood and the processor will be significantly faster than that between an SSD and the processor. This should give the small Braidwood memory an opportunity to outperform SSDs in some instances, even though an SSD's larger capacity is likely to make it faster than Braidwood in other cases, according to Objective Analysis.


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