According to unnamed sources talking to DigiTimes, Intel will use the Centrino 2 platform (code-named 'Montevina') to push solid-state drives (SSDs) into mainstream products.
Initial shipments of Intel High Performance SSDs will come in two versions – Client X25-M and Client X18-M – the former having a physical size of 2.5-inch and later 1.8-inch. Both will feature 80GB capacity and a SATA interface.
Intel plans to increase storage capacities up to 160GB by the end of the fourth quarter, and to 250GB and above in 2009, the sources added.
Quite how far Intel will push SSDs, and at what price point still remains to be seen. As the technology currently stands there are two big stumbling blocks with SSDs:
- First is price. No one wants to go back to paying exorbitant prices per GB for storage any more.
- Secondly, the technology lacks any real advantages over existing hard drive technology. Sure, you can give an SSD a much harsher kicking than you can an ordinary hard drive, but as the MacBook Air has demonstrated, SSDs don't give you instant bootup (in fact, they aren't all that fast at all), and they don't give you greater battery life.
I like SSDs in principal, and over time the technology will mature and improve. Intel putting its weight behind it can only be a good thing in the long run.