To further strengthen its position in the data center market, Intel plans to unveil a new form factor to lead a big push for solid-state drives (SSDs). The chip maker’s new offering will completely ditch the legacy 2.5- and 3.5-inch form factors in favor of a new “Ruler” SSD form factor.

Intel Ruler SSD
Image Source: Techgage (screenshot)

What is special abut Intel Ruler SSD?

Intel’s new “long and skinny” SSDs will help maximize storage capacity and outperform legacy form factors in power requirements and cooling. Intel Ruler SSD can infuse 1U servers with up to 1PB of storage. In comparison, regular 10TB hard drives would take up a 100-bay 4U server, notes TechGage. Further, Intel Ruler SSD will be available with new Optane Memory technology or the traditional 3D NAND memory.

Intel Ruler SSD “shifts storage from the legacy 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch form factors that follow traditional hard disk drives, and the add-in card form factor, which takes advantage of PCIe card slots, and delivers on the promise of non-volatile storage technologies to eliminate constraints on shape and size,” the chip maker says.

Intel has not shared many more details on the Ruler SSDs, so it is not known when they will be available, what connector they will use, or how much they will cost. The company, however, does claim that its Optane and 3D NAND SSDs will be available in the “near future.”

Intel also introduced a new line of dual-port SSDs to replace the SAS SSDs and HDDs. Intel’s dual-port SSDs feature dual SATA ports, which helps them connect to two independent systems at a time. Intel’s dual-port SSD DC D4500, D4502 and D4600 Series will be made available sometime in the third quarter.

“Dual port Intel Optane SSDs and Intel® 3D NAND SSDs offer critical redundancy and failover, protecting against multiple paths to failure for mission-critical and high-availability applications,” the chip maker said.

Intel also talked about the SSD DC S4500 and S4600 Series, which come with “a new Intel-developed SATA controller, innovative SATA firmware and the industry’s highest density 32-layer 3D NAND.” Intel’s new line of second-generation 3D NAND SSDs is available now.

AMD Threadripper vs. Intel Core i9-7980XE

Intel has also revealed the full specifications of its 18-core Extreme Edition processor, which is seen as a direct competitor to the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X. AMD’s product comes with base/boost clock speeds of 3.4GHz/4.0GHz, 16 cores, and 32 threads.

Intel’s top-of-the-line CPU, the Core i9-7980XE Extreme Edition, will feature 18 cores, 36 threads and a base frequency of 2.6GHz that clocks up to 4.2GHz with help from Turbo Boost 2.0. In addition, TurboBoost 3.0 will push the Core i9-7980XE to clock 4.4GHz.

Comparatively, Intel’s chip appears slower, but it has two more cores and consumes 15 watts less power. When used with the upcoming X299 chipset, the chip maker claims it to have the advantage of four more PCIe lanes compared to 64 PCIe lanes on AMD’s X399 chipset, notes TechRadar.

At 11:04 a.m. Eastern, Intel shares closed up 0.5% at $36.62. Year to date, the stock is up almost 1%, while in the last year, it is up more than 4%.