Although SandForce's SF-2281 controller has been shipping for well over a year at this point, it took Intel to discover a bug in the controller that prevents it from properly supporting AES-256 encryption. The bug is at the controller level and can't be fixed with a firmware update. AES-128 encryption works perfectly fine as does the drive's standard, un-encrypted operation mode. If you have an Intel SSD 520 and need AES-256 support, Intel has introduced a return program. If you purchased your 520 on or before July 1, 2012 you can contact Intel for a full refund of purchase price. You have to complete the request by October 1, 2012. If you want a Cherryville/SF-2281 drive with proper AES-256 support you'll have to wait a few months for a new spin of the controller it seems. 

Source: Intel

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  • quiksilvr - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    Some people order before July 1st but shipping delays can cause it to come in later. In some cases, it can be interpreted as "Date received" not "Date ordered" as the date you "bought" it. This covers all bases and avoids confusion.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    I believe the point is that anyone buying an SSD in the next 2-3 weeks is still eligible (i.e. maybe they didn't read about the problem). After July 1, Intel will presumably have packaging or other materials in place to alert users to the lack of AES-256 and thus if you buy a drive that doesn't advertise AES-256 support you can't complain and return it.
  • magreen - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    Remember, we're talking about enterprise customers. That means action plans are approved and set into motion well before the actual purchase is made. By allowing refunds on purchases until 7/1, Intel is providing support to those whose plans are already in motion. Otherwise those customers could claim (after the fact) that it was too late to suddenly switch course when the AES-256 announcement was made.
  • taltamir - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    They are being generous and assuming that people buying the drive in the next 18 days might not have heard about this recall.
  • Tegeril - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    No one will ever come across this article of any of Intel's press releases about the topic after July 1. The entire world will have been informed via immediate brain-injection.
  • DaveSimmons - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    The point of paying extra for an intel-branded Sandforce controller design was supposed to be that they had thoroughly tested it and found and fixed firmware problems.

    To miss that AES-256 doesn't work until after it shipped is a QA failure that undercuts the justification for buying intel instead of a cheaper brand.
  • JeffFlanagan - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    You're assuming that the cheap brand would offer a refund when it doesn't perform as advertised. I think that's a huge oversight.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    Let's also not forget that there are still plenty of SF-2281 SSDs out there that have BSOD issues; Intel's 520 does not. I know our own Ganesh for example has an HP EliteBook with an SF-2281 drive that he can't hibernate/sleep without running the risk of a BSOD.
  • seapeople - Monday, June 11, 2012 - link

    You get your justification here: you bought an Intel, this bug bothers you, you get a refund. If you had bought a cheap brand you have no assurances of getting that refund.
  • BSMonitor - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    Ummmm, it's not an Intel-Branded Sandforce controller. It's a Sandforce Branded Sandforce controller. Intel simply used the chip in its end product. When a CPU has bugs/etc.. do you blame Acer or Dell for that?? No, it's Intel's problem.

    ALL SF-2281 drives out there today have this issue. Intel is only able to address Intel drives, and are therefore offering a refund.

    As of yet, all other manufactures have missed this issue and are doing nothing about it.

    Please don't comment on something purely out of your anti-Intel bias.

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