updated 08:25 am EDT, Fri May 23, 2008
Intel 80GB SSD in Q3
Intel has narrowed down the launch of its self-branded solid-state drives to before the end of the summer, computer builders reportedly say. Now referred to as the High Performance SSD line, the drives are said to be shipping by the end of the third quarter as both the Client X18-M, for the 1.8-inch hard drive format used by ultraportable notebooks, as well as the Client X25-M, a 2.5-inch version for conventional notebooks and some enterprise-class servers. Both will be considered essential to the launch of the Centrino 2 notebook platform, which starts in late June and will finish in September with the release of low-power Core 2 Duo chips.
The initial versions of the SSDs will ship with 80GB of storage and use a Serial ATA interface to the host machine, according to the report. Intel would subsequently double that capacity to 160GB before the end of the year and eventually release a 250GB drive sometime in 2009. Regardless of capacity, the drives are already known to be fast and will read data as quickly as 200 megabytes per second, or double the speed of Samsung's 128GB drive and much faster than rotating hard drives on the desktop.
The launch is also said to be essential for mid-range and high-end notebooks, which Intel believes will increasingly use SSDs as their default storage options. While last year SSDs were reserved for special models, a number of PC makers have begun using the flash-based storage as a regular upgrade option for their notebooks or in some cases the only choice, such as the optional 64GB SSD in the MacBook Air or the mandatory drive in the Lenovo ThinkPad X300.