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3/12/2010
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OCZ Releases SSD For Netbooks

The 32 GB solid-state drive will be priced under $100, company says.

OCZ Technology has introduced a flash-based storage device that will sell for less than $100.

The Onyx SATA II 2.5-inch drive is designed for consumer-oriented netbooks and laptops or as a boot-up drive. By pricing the 32 GB solid-state drive at under $100, OCZ says it is making the SSD an affordable alternative to traditional hard drives.

Onyx has read/write speeds of 125 MB per second and 70 MB/s, respectively. The device also has an onboard cache of 64 MB and a mean time between failure (MTBF) of 1.5 million hours. The product, released Thursday, comes with a three-year warranty.

SSDs in general deliver higher performance than hard drives, offering faster application loading and data access, shorter boot-ups and longer battery life. However, even at the Onyx pricing, they still cost considerably more per gigabyte than hard drives.

Indeed, soaring memory prices have derailed efforts to replace hard drives with SSDs in laptops, according to market researcher iSuppli. The price of NAND flash memory, which accounts for about 90% of the cost of SSDs, is rising due to increasing demand of the memory for use in smartphones and other mobile devices.

Corporations, however, are buying SSDs in greater number for use in data centers. SSD vendors expect this year and 2011 to be exceptionally strong years as data centers and IT computing infrastructures ramp up their adoption, iSuppli says.

iSuppli believes SSDs are likely to always sell at a premium over HDDs, but says vendors could increase use in laptops by developing better features, boosting benefits over hard drives and strengthen marketing campaigns.

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