Intel Prepares to Launch its own SSDs

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Intel has announced plans to enter the market for Solid State Disks (SSD), a market currently dominated by Samsung, Toshiba and San Disk, according to C|Net. SSDs of 80 and 160 GB are expected in Q2.

Samsung has already announced plans for a 128 GB SSD in Q3. Now, Intel is set to offer its own 1.8- and 2.5-inch SSDs, according to Troy Winslow, marketing manager for the NAND Products Group at Intel.

Mr. Winslow compared his SSDs to the competition and said that the fastest SSDs from Samsung are capable of 100 MB/s. "What I can tell you is ours is much better than that," he said.

"When Intel launches its products, youill see that not all SSDs are created equal," Mr. Winslow continued. "The way the SSDs are architected, the way the controller and firmware operates makes a huge difference."

He declared 2008 the year of the SSD. "For the first time, flash is going into the compute environment. In the last nine years or so when it experienced all of its growth, this has been in digital cameras and USB keys," Winslow added. "When youire putting all your critical applications and data into notebook or server (SSDs), who knows those markets better than the manufacturer thatis supplying the world with CPUs?"

Apple, which has a very close relationship with Intel, has likely seen this coming and, accordingly, implemented the option for an SSD in the new MacBook Air. While some potential customers have been put off by a few design elements of the MacBook Air, thereis no doubt that Apple sees the handwriting on the wall with emerging technologies well before its customers do, thanks to that relationship.

Like Samsung, Mr. Winslow sees the SSD prices dropping rapidly over the next two years. Soon, Apple customers will be wondering when the SSD option will start to appear in the full sized MacBook Pros.

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