Analysts began speculating late last week that Apple, along with LG, may soon be releasing flash-based laptops later in the year. Today, news from Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel, the company that currently supplies Apple with its processors, may lend some credence to that assertion.
On Monday, the worlds leading producer of microprocessors announced it will be entering the hard drive market with new solid-state drives based on NAND flash memory.
According to Intel, the Z-U130 VSSD (value solid-state drive) will feature standard USB interfaces and offer storage for a wide variety of computing and embedded platforms.
The company says the drives will be used in a variety of Intel-based computing platforms, such as servers, notebooks and low-cost PCs. Additionally, there are plans to include them in Intel embedded solutions for routers and point-of-sale terminals.
Rand Wilhelm, vice president and general manager of Intels NAND Products Group, said that solid state drive technology offers myriad benefits when compared to traditional HDDs (hard disk drives).
Citing their improved performance and reliability, Wilhelm said that the family of drives will deliver faster boot times, rapid data access, and low-power storage alternatives for PCs, routers, servers, gaming applications.
The Z-U130 will come in 1-, 2-, 4-, and 8-Gigabyte densities and will have read times of 28 megabytes/second and write speeds of 20 megabytes/second. Intel says the drive is also expected to meet an average MTBF (mean time between failure)—the most common specification related to drive reliability—of 5 million hours.
Today, a typical MTBF for a HDD is in the range of 300,000 to 1,200,000 hours.
Intel says that the Z-U130 can be easily integrated into manufacturers designs due to its USB 2.0 and 1.1 compliant interfaces, its 2x5 USB connector, and its standard single-level cell NAND.