Intel details solid-state drive plans

Chipmaker officially enters SSD market with products aimed at both enterprise and consumer markets, but stops short of putting out price tags.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--Intel has set its sights on a share of the solid-state drive market, with plans to roll out a range of flash-based storage devices targeted at both the enterprise and consumer markets.

Kishore Rao, Intel's product line manager for high-performance solid-state drives under the Nand product group, announced the products Tuesday at a media and analyst briefing during the Intel Developer Forum.

The solid-state drives range from 32GB to 160GB.

Intel's SATA drives for desktops and notebooks--the 1.8-inch Intel X18-M (mainstream) and 2.5-inch Intel X25-M--will be available in 80GB and 160GB capacities, said Rao. The 80GB version is currently in sampling and will begin shipping within 30 days. The drives are based on multilevel cell (MLC) flash memory, a technology where memory cells can hold more than one bit of data.

The mainstream drives, he added, are expected to have a useful life of over five years.

Intel's 2.5-inch higher-end enterprise server-storage model has capacities of 32GB and 64GB. Known as the Intel X25-E (extreme), the drive is based on single-level cell (SLC) technology. Intel expects this product to replace many 15,000RPM hard disk drives, said Rao.

Troy Winslow, marketing manager for Nand at Intel, said the vendor has not released pricing for the solid-state drives, and expects to do so over the next few weeks when it has entered the production phase.

Vivian Yeo of ZDNet Asia reported from the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, California.