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Computex: Intel Launches Cheap SSDs

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 9 comments

Taipei (Taiwan) - Intel has begun offering NAND flash-based solid state disk drives (SSDs) for mobile Internet devices (MIDs) and entry-level desktop and notebook computers, referred to as Nettops and netbooks. They might not offer a whole lot of capacity, but they are one of the first SSDs we can actually call affordable.

If Intel wants its MID idea to succeed, there is no way around the fact that these devices need to run on solid state disk drives to save space and weight. Initial hard drive-based models may be limited to Windows XP/Vista-based MIDS, but in terms of portability just don’t make the grade.

It is good to see that Intel puts quite some effort into bringing cheap SSDs to market that make a whole lot of sense for MIDs and, if the price is right also entry-level Netbooks as well as Nettops for emerging markets. The new Z-P230 series of SSDs launches with 4 GB and 8 GB capacity, while a 16 GB version is expected to become available in the fourth quarter.

Both new drives should be large enough to hold a Ubuntu Linux-based operating system, a few applications and room for some data storage. Pricewise these are really the first SSDs we find to priced right for the consumer segment: The 4 GB drive will cost $25 and the 8 GB drive $45 (in 1000-unit quantities).

Of course, you can’t expect a lot of performance features in exchange. The Z-P230 is only available with a PATA interface, which is supported by Intel’s Atom platform and the SCH chipset (SCH does not support SATA). The 10 gram light drive will deliver a read performance of 35 MB/s and a write performance of 7 MB/s. Idle power consumption is 1.65 mWatts and typical power consumption is 314 mWatts, according to Intel.

The meantime-between-failure rating is 1 million hours.

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  • 1 Hide
    randomizer , June 3, 2008 11:58 PM
    Not any better than a USB flash drive IMO. :lol: 
  • 1 Hide
    nukemaster , June 4, 2008 12:09 AM
    randomizerNot any better than a USB flash drive IMO.

    so true
  • 1 Hide
    piratepast40 , June 4, 2008 2:05 AM
    LOL ... was going to write the same thing before I saw the comments
  • 2 Hide
    razor512 , June 4, 2008 6:55 AM
    USB flash drive modded to have a PATA connector then put into a larger case to hide the appearance of a flash drive :) 
  • 0 Hide
    apache_lives , June 4, 2008 8:14 AM
    perhaps this is the better way of jump starting from platter/moving parts to solid state etc - afterall, it took how long to get a hdd from a few mb, to a gig, to hundreds of gigs to a tb etc, solid state is doing the rounds faster, and this seems a more affordable, cheaper beginning/intro to it.
  • 0 Hide
    bounty , June 4, 2008 3:26 PM
    Except an 8GB flash drive only costs 25$ (retail) and why change the USB interface? It would be cool to just "eject" your USB drive when your wife needs to borrow your lappy, then she can just put her's in and boot off that. Maybe have a notch under the keyboard that most USB flash drives could fit in, or hook up with some manufacturers on a standard external size for usb flash drives, then you can actually insert it/eject it. I would say use SD/compact flash etc, but that's not as fun, too straight forward.
  • 0 Hide
    ewart , June 4, 2008 10:24 PM
    lol I was going to say the same thing about the USB in PATA format too - except to add, at only double the price..
  • 0 Hide
    randomizer , June 5, 2008 12:09 AM
    These things need much higher capacities at comparable prices to traditional HDDs before they will be worth buying.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 17, 2008 4:08 AM
    hey guys,

    you all have lack of knowledge in SSD technology... there are many advantages in using this technology compared with the existing HDD, two of the most important advantages of SSD are: power efficiency and its Burst rate or speed... also, you cant use the USB interface as your interface in your main memory because it has may limitations with regards to memory capacity handling and data transfer capability...

    so, dont judge the performance of the SSDs, you might want to use it in your own computers...