Intel invited me to attend SC12 and participate in a webcast for the launch of its new DC S3700 SSD. I joined Roger Peene from Intel's SSD Solutions and we talked about the S3700 as well as answered your questions live. If you missed the webcast, you can find the pre-recorded video here. There's a great question about the future of NAND we discussed on the webcast that I'd highly recommend paying attention to.

Prior to the webcast, I had the chance to sit down with Arbin Kumar (responsible for Intel SSD reliability and validation), Allison Goodman (lead engineer on the S3700) and Roger Peene (Marketing Director for Intel's Datacenter SSD Solutions) once again to discuss the S3700 in greater detail. The discussion in the video below is from the first day I really learned about the S3700's architecture. The full discussion took several hours but the video below distills a lot of it down to 7 minutes. If you want to hear about the S3700 from the folks who actually had a hand in building the drive, I strongly suggest watching the video. Update: The video is back up.

Finally, at SC12 Intel rented a replica of the original series bridge from the starship Enterprise which we used as a backdrop for the webcast. Prior to the webcast airing, we had some fun on the bridge which you can check out in the gallery below.

At the end of the day it was a pretty fun experience. I learned quite a bit about Intel's NAND Solutions Group through this whole process. The SSD business is pretty unusual in that it's built around a replacement to a highly commoditized product (mechanical storage). It's surprising that we even have folks who typically play in high margin products even in this industry, but without them the market would be much worse off. I still remember what things were like with SSDs prior to the X25-M and even for the 12 - 18 months after its launch. The S3700 showed that there's still room for innovation even within the constraints of 6Gbps SATA, which should tide us over until SATA Express shows up.

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  • Bullwinkle J Moose - Friday, November 16, 2012 - link

    This was my original question in the first 3700 article at this site
    Did I miss something?

    With 1:1 mapping, this this sounds like the Worlds first truly O.S. agnostic controller

    Does it require an O.S. with Trim or a partition offset for XP use, or did Intel just make the Worlds first universal SSD?

    The 320 may have handled partition offsets internally but still required Trim for best performance

    Please correct me if I'm wrong
    The readers all basically told me I was wrong in the first article, however.....

    The webcast made it clear that Trim is no longer required

    If Intel kept the partition offset fix in firmware or if that offset fix is implemented at some point, this IS the worlds first truly Universal SSD that does not require a specific O.S. to run optimally

    So Anand, did Intel just create the Worlds first Truly Universal SSD with this or did they drop the partition offset fix that was used on some earlier Intell SSD's

    What I mean is, can this be used with ANY O.S. and still get optimal performance without ANY tweaks of any kind?
  • extide - Friday, November 16, 2012 - link

    ALL SSD's will ALWAYS get better performance when they are aligned properly, AND when TRIM is being used.
  • Bullwinkle J Moose - Friday, November 16, 2012 - link

    Trim is basically a waste of time for this drive as explained in the first video, and if alignment is corrected in firmware, then this would truly be the Word's first Universal SSD with zero tweaks required for ANY O.S.

  • Bullwinkle J Moose - Friday, November 16, 2012 - link


    Sorry, that was a bad John McAfee impersonation
  • jack.fxx - Sunday, November 18, 2012 - link

    You should learn how to distinguish between marketing BS and real information. What the Intel guy was saying about TRIM was pure BS. The fact is, that TRIM on S3700 will considerably reduce write aplification and therefore increase endurance. If you don't use trim, S3700 will wear out faster, which means more $$ for Intel.
  • Bullwinkle J Moose - Monday, November 19, 2012 - link

    Marketing BS?

    What does Anand have to say on the matter?

    The silence is deafening
  • Bullwinkle J Moose - Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - link

    D E A F E N I N G !
  • CaedenV - Friday, November 16, 2012 - link

    don't get me wrong, I love Intel products, and I really love the Anandtech website, but this (and the live podcast video) just feel so forced and scripted and just so... not anandtech.

    this video in particular make it look like there are 3 Intel employees giving you an interrogation, or an exit interview from a brainwashing exercise.

    iDunno... maybe it is just me.
  • CaedenV - Friday, November 16, 2012 - link

    Again, it is a cool product... it is just how the interviews look/feel that I am put off by.
  • DigitalFreak - Friday, November 16, 2012 - link

    The pictures all have a purple tint to them. Were they taken with an iPhone 5? ;-)

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