Intel’s X25-M solid-state drive was a special piece of hardware back in the day. The SSD market was still in its infancy, and the X25-M represented the chip-maker’s initial entry into an exciting new arena. It was a pretty good first offering, too. The drive had wicked-fast performance, and it was reasonably affordable for its day. Intel’s chip-making prowess, combined with its expertise in designing storage and memory controllers, seemed perfectly suited to tackling solid-state storage.

The X25-M’s flash controller anchored three generations of desktop SSDs before it was finally retired. Instead of using another in-house chip, Intel started playing the field. A brief affair with Marvell produced the 510 Series, and its long-term relationship with SandForce fueled a string of successors.