Intel will stick to flash memory businesses, contrary to recent reports. We spoke to Intel contacts several days ago and they indicated that the company has no intentions of leaving the flash memory business despite reports suggesting otherwise. Intel recently announced several initiatives to enter the solid state drive (SSD) business and even made a point that it would help mass produce SSD drives to help bring prices down.
The company also invests heavily with other memory partners, such as Micron, on joint ventures in the flash business. Although in recent years, the memory business has suffered some, Intel continually shows strong investment in this sector.
Intel recently demonstrated systems running with its own SSD drives at Computex this year. What we witnessed was both speedy read and write performance, and quiet operation. The drives themselves were running relatively cool to the touch.
In terms of competition, Intel has a number of very competitive companies it’s up against. Seagate, Samsung and several other companies are vying for the SSD market. Samsung for example recently announced SATA 2 SSD drives that delivery very fast performance. According to Samsung, its new drives deliver a read speed of 200MB/sec. and 160MB/sec. write speeds — far ahead of the competition. While Intel has not shared with us yet details about the performance of its new SSD drives, Intel did indicate that due to high quality controllers and optimizations, customers can expect competitive performance. Competitive is a relative term at this point until we’re able to confirm numbers.
Intel is set to introduce drives with capacities of 160GB and 200GB. Samsung’s SATA 2 SSD drive will ship at 256GB with other offerings on the side.