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12/22/2008
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Intel Ships 160 GB Solid State Drives For PCs

Computer manufacturers are offering SSDs in ultralight laptops and mini-notebooks, which are used primarily for e-mail and Web browsing.

Intel on Monday started shipping a 160-GB, 2.5-inch solid-state drive for laptops and desktops.

In addition to the new X25-M, the chipmaker said it would ship next month a 160-GB, 1.8-inch SSD called the X18-M. Intel shipped 80-GB versions of the same two drives in September.

Computer manufacturers are offering SSDs in ultralight laptops and mini-notebooks, which are used primarily for e-mail and Web browsing. SSDs are particularly useful in these machines because the drives are lighter and use less power than hard disk drives. Major computer makers such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Lenovo offer SSDs in notebooks.

The X18-M and X25-M are based on Intel's multilevel cell memory. The technology that differentiates the SSDs from competitors, according to Intel, includes highly parallel 10x NAND flash channels and "native command queuing" that enable up to 32 concurrent operations for faster performance.

The drives have read speeds up to 250 MBps and write speeds up to 70 MBps. Both are available with SATA interfaces of 1.5 Gbps and 3.0 Gbps.

The life expectancy is 1.2 million hours of mean time before failure, and power consumption is 150 milliwatts during a typical PC workload and 0.06 of a watt at idle. Pricing was not released.

Along with the two mainstream SSDs, Intel also makes the X25-E Extreme SSD for servers, storage, and high-end workstations. The SATA drive is availability in capacities of 32 GB and 64 GB, and has a life expectancy of 2 million hours of MTBF.

Intel's mainstream drives are far from the largest in the industry. Toshiba last week introduced a 512-GB, 2.5-inch SSD for notebooks. Toshiba also makes 2.5-inch and 1.8-inch SSDs in 64-GB, 128-GB, and 256-GB capacities.

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