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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  • chadwilson - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - link

    What's funny is the 192 and 256 bit profiles for the AES spec have actually been shown to be LESS secure than the 128 bit profile. Sadly this is not common knowledge outside crypto circles.
  • prophet001 - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - link

    I don't need AES-256 anyway :D getting ready to get one.
  • eightyeight - Friday, June 15, 2012 - link


    I just inquired about returning this, and they denied it. Saying it wasn't an issue.
  • Guest9234 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Did you specifically point them to the article at:

    that guarantees your return, and say that you specifically were not satisfied with 128-bit AES encryption over 256-bit AES?

    I find it hard to believe you were flat-out denied your refund without some sort of reason.
  • nextel2010 - Saturday, September 15, 2012 - link

    Well, this is great news. I bought an Intel 520 way back in March, and it's been nothing but trouble. BSOD's, freezes, and shutdowns on a system which was previously rock stable. Unable to resolve it after countless hours of troubleshooting. I know I have a five year warranty, and can request a replacement but I suspect the issue is with the controller, so I doubt another 520 will solve my problems. At least with this "recall", I can return it for a refund, and spring for a Samsung or Plextor unit. And that's too bad; I really really wanted to stick with Intel for a number of reasons, but I can't get this thing to work.

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