Intel Unveils Its First Solid-State SATA Storage Drives

Intel has been putting a great deal of R&D into developing flash memory SSDs that will withstand the rigors of 24/7 data center server usage, heavy-duty client/server desktop and laptop use, and embedded applications. Intel is convinced that it has added enough storage capacity-up to 160GB-on these SSDs to more than handle enterprise duty.

SAN FRANCISCO-Intel has been developing solid-state flash memory processors for as long as flash has been around, which is about 20 years. But only on Aug. 19 at the Intel Developer Forum here did the world's largest chip maker announce its first-ever flash-based SATA drives for data storage.
Intel's High-Performance SATA (Serial ATA) solid-state drives are data storage devices that use flash-based memory to store a computer's data, emulating-and even replacing-hard drives in some computers.
NAND flash memory, which has much faster read/write performance than conventional disk drives, originated with Toshiba in the mid-1980s and forms the core of the removable USB storage devices known as USB flash drives, as well as most memory card formats now available. Apple's iPod and iPhone are two of the most currently successful commercial usages of NAND flash.
Flash SSDs are slowly beginning to move into the enterprise data center market, led by EMC, which started shipping flash drives as options for its high-end Symmetrix storage system arrays in March.
But industry analysts are generally in agreement that it is far too early to tell how well these pioneering heavy-duty SSDs will hold up over time in often-punishing 24/7 production environments.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 10 years and more than 3,500 stories at eWEEK, he has distinguished...