Intel to Manufacture Double-Capacity Flash-Based Hard Drives in 2009

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Recently, hardware and processor giant Intel announced that the company will be manufacturing a new series of hard drives capable of holding twice as much data as current offerings as part of an effort to tap the new market for chip-based storage. The eight new drives, which are expected in the fourth quarter, will offer as much as 320 gigabytes of capacity according to a document Intel sent along to its customers.

The chips, as described in an article on Bloomberg.com, will be created using a 32-nanometer production technology and produced along with Micron Technology, Inc., which Intel began a venture with back in 2005, to create chips called Nand flash memory. If successful, flash-based drives could replace conventional hard disks as the main mode of storage found in laptop and desktop computers.

Intel will begin selling desktop computer processors that include graphic capabilities within the processor itself for the first time in a product the company has codenamed "Havendale", in the first quarter of 2010. That’s one quarter later than originally planned, according to the document, which didn’t specify a reason.

The chipmaker also is introducing a product called Braidwood that will include as much as 16 gigabytes of flash memory that will create “better responsiveness and boot-up time.”

Apple has been offering solid state drives in its portable line, with the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models coming with a 128GB SSD drive option.  The company has not, as yet, announced plans to incorporate Intel's new products, but more competition in the space should eventually translate into better options at better prices for Mac users.

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