Intel Unveils New Line of Mini-SSDs for Laptops, Tablets

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-12-29 Print this article Print

The 310 Series drives are about one-eighth the size of a standard Intel X25 NAND flash SSD, yet they can hold up to 80GB of data.

Intel on Dec. 29 launched a new set of mini-sized solid-state drives for dual-drive notebooks, tablet PCs and enbedded applications that the company claims provide performance as high as its larger SSDs.

The 310 Series drives are sized at a mere 51mm-by-30mm and 5mm thick, about one-eighth the size of a current Intel 2.5-inch X25 flash SSD, yet they can hold up to 80GB of data.

The new drives contain 34-nanometer Intel NAND flash memory chips and are available in an m-SATA form factor in 40GB and 80GB capacities. The 310 Series also support SATA connectivity over a PCI Express (PCIe) mini-connector for on-board storage in single-drive netbooks, tablets or handheld devices.

Intel Director of Solid-State Products Marketing Troy Winslow told eWEEK that when paired with a high-capacity hard disk drive in a dual-drive laptop or desktop PC, the 310 SSDs markedly improve overall system speed by about 60 percent, according to benchmarks.

"These really help accelerate boot time and access to frequently used applications or files," Winslow said.

One of the first deployments for the 310 Series SSDs is by DRS Technologies for a new ARMOR communications tablet PC to be launched at Storage Visions in Las Vegas next month. Storage Visions is held concurrent to the Consumer Electronics Show 2010.

The ARMOR mobile and field unit tablet PC is certified to work in extreme temperatures and hold up to shock, vibration and drops, delivering up to nine hours of operating time.

The Intel SSD 310 drives are now shipping and priced at $99 for the 40GB capacity and $179 for the 80GB version, both in 1,000-unit quantities.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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