Intel is planning to launch high-speed, high-capacity solid-state drives in the second quarter of this year.
According to ZDNet.co.uk's sister site CNET News.com, the chip giant will be pushing out 1.8- and 2.5-inch solid-state drives (SSDs) with capacities of between 80GB and 160GB. Intel already offers smaller-capacity solid-state chips, but this move will bring it into competition with companies like Toshiba and Samsung. Samsung plans to bring out a 128GB SSD later this year.
Troy Winslow, Intel's marketing manager for NAND products, told CNET News.com last week that Intel's Sata II SSDs would have "much better" speed performance than rival manufacturers' products, which have read speeds going up to around 100Mbps.
"When Intel launches its... products, you'll see that not all SSDs are created equal," Winslow said. "The way the SSDs are architected, the way the controller and firmware operates makes a huge difference. When you're putting all your critical applications and data into notebook or server [SSDs], who knows those markets better than the manufacturer that's supplying the world with CPUs?"
Winslow also suggested that SSD prices, which are currently very high when compared with traditional hard drives, would soon dramatically drop. "Price declines are historically 40 percent per year," he said. "And, in 2009, [there will be] a 50 percent reduction, then again in 2010." He also suggested that SSDs would play a big role as "performance accelerators" in the server market.
SSDs have recently started to find their way into laptops — notably the Asus Eee PC and other budget subnotebooks — albeit at a relatively low capacity. Intel had not confirmed pricing or exact release dates for its new SSDs at the time of writing.