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6/2/2011
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SanDisk Announces SSDs For Tablets, Thin Laptops

Featuring SATA III interfaces, both solid state drives are designed for smaller, portable devices like ultra-thin laptops and tablets.

SanDisk SSD U100
(click image for larger view)
SanDisk SSD U100
SanDisk unveiled two solid state drives (SSD) designed for thin and mobile computing platforms such as ultra-thin notebooks and high-end tablets, at the Computex trade show in Taiwan Tuesday.

The SanDisk SSD U100 and iSSD i100 feature SATA III interfaces and can transfer data, improve web browsing speed, and other functions at about twice the speed of the SanDisk P4 drives they are intended to replace, the company said.

The new drives have a low-power architecture to reduce power consumption to as low as 10 watts during "slumber mode," which enables longer battery life in ultra-portable computers and tablets.

"Our deep involvement with key ecosystem stakeholders allows us to align our products with fast-moving market requirements," said Rizwan Ahmed, director, SSD product marketing at SanDisk, in a release. "We develop low-power, high-performance SATA SSDs that optimally fit into a growing number of thin client devices."

SanDisk claims the iSSD i100, which is designed for tablets, is the smallest and fastest 128GB SATA III BGA-based SSD. The drive is available in 8 GB to 128 GB capacities and measures .62 inches x .78 inches x 0.5 inches (for up to 64GB) and .62 inches x .78 x .07 inches (for 128GB).

The U100 is designed for ultra-thin laptops and provides up to 256 GB of storage in a drive that fits into a slimmed-down SATA SSD, mSATA, or mSATA mini casing at 2.5 inches. The U100 features a SATA III interface and has a benchmark of 450 bps read speed and up to 340 bps write speed, which is twice the speed of previous P4 SSDs. The drive is available in 8 GB to 256 GB capacities.

The U100 drive was designed in conjunction with Asus for high performance and lower power consumption. Asus is featuring the drive in its new ultra-thin UX21 laptop.

"SanDisk's U100 drive allows our notebook to achieve the thin size, fast performance and long battery life needed to produce an enjoyable user experience," said S. Y. Shian, corporate vice president and general manager of the Asus notebook business unit, in a release.

SanDisk has been aggressively pursuing the consumer SSD space and also recently entered the enterprise SSD space with the acquisition of Pliant, which sells ultra-high-performance enterprise SSDs based on the SAS protocol aimed at high-performance enterprise applications.

Gartner anticipates the SSD market to grow from $994 million in 2010 to $4.2 billion in 2015, with about 1.3 million SSD units shipped in 2010, to an expected 9.4 million units shipped in 2015. This growth is fueled by the increasing use of SSDs, which consume less power than hard-disk drives and allow access to information quicker.

While the cost of SSDs has kept consumers at bay, Gartner predicts that in 2012 the SSD price will drop to $1 per gigabyte and entice consumers to fuel strong demand.

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