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  (Source: Intel)
Intel updates its line of solid-state drives

Earlier this year, Intel thrust itself into the world of solid state drives (SSDs). The company launched the Z-U130 series of NAND flash-based SSDs which used the standard USB 2.0 interface.

Intel's Z-U130 product family consisted of 1GB, 2GB, 4GB and 8GB models. Performance was rather meager with read speeds of 28MB/sec and write speeds of 20MB/sec.

Not one to let a new product languish in a competitive market, Intel is introducing its follow-up to the Z-U130: the Z-P140. Intel's Z-P140 SSDs forgo the USB 2.0 interface and instead use a PATA interface.

Due to efficient packaging, the Z-P140 PATA SSDs measure just 12x18x1.8mm -- 400 times smaller than a 1.8" HDD -- and weigh only 0.6 grams. Power consumption is a miniscule 1.1mW while idle and 300mW during read/write operations. The Mean-Time Before Failure (MTBF) of the Z-P140 PATA SSDs, which use Intel SD54B and SD58B NAND flash chips, is 2.5 million hours.

The Z-P140 PATA SSDs are available in 2GB of 4GB modules; however, they can be expanded up to 16GB by using four 4GB modules. In addition, read and write speeds are now faster at 40MB/sec and 30MB/sec respectively.

"Our mission is to provide world-class non-volatile SSD and caching solutions that are designed, optimized and validated to enhance Intel Architecture-based computing platforms," said Pete Hazen, Intel's NAND Products Group director of marketing. "Our customers are finding the Intel Z-P140 PATA SSD to be the right size, fit and performance for their pocketable designs. This is Intel's latest offering as we continue to expand our product line of reliable, feature-rich and high-performing SSDs."

Intel's new line of SSDs aren't likely to give competing SSD manufacturers Samsung, Toshiba or Mtron much pause -- SSDs from those manufacturers come in larger 1.8" and 2.5" form-factors and are at least twice as fast in read/write operations. However, Intel is likely to target cell phone, portable media player (PMP) and UMPC vendors.

In fact, Intel's new SSDs sound like a perfect fit for a probable ASUS Eee PC 16G.





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