Tuesday, 13 March 2007 06:05

Intel drives into flash market

By
Intel has joined the trend to solid-state drives based on NAND flash memory with 1, 2, 4 and 8G models.

The company has opted to use a USB interface rather than ATA or SATA, which would have allowed manufacturers to readily employ the drives as direct replacements for rotating magnetic disks.

Intel expects the parts to be used in "servers, emerging market notebooks and low-cost, fully featured PCs. In addition, it will be used in Intel embedded solutions for routers and point of sale terminals."

Unlike the commonplace 'thumb drives' the Z-U130 Value Solid State Drives come as small printed circuit boards designed for internal mounting.

Intel claims high performance - write speeds up to 20M/sec - and high reliability with mean time between failure of five million hours. "this higher performing solid state drive is a faster storage alternative that speeds through common PC or embedded application operations such as locating boot code, operating systems and commonly accessed libraries," Intel officials said.

Price is important for small storage devices, and Intel claims the Z-U130 family will soon be cheaper than 1.8in drives of similar capacities.

The 8G model won't go into production until the end of 2008, but higher capacity versions are expected within a year or so.

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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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