Storage solutions specialist SanDisk announced an embedded solid-state drive (SSD) smaller than a postage stamp. The integrated SSD is designed for use in fast-growing mobile computing platforms such as tablet PCs and ultra-thin notebooks.
The company said the iSSD drive is the first flash SSD device to support the serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) interface in a small BGA (Ball Grid Array) package that can be soldered onto any motherboard.
The SanDisk iSSD, which features no moving parts, offers 160MB/sec sequential read and 100MB/sec sequential write speeds. The iSSD is available now for sampling to OEMs, and the company said top-tier manufacturers are currently evaluating the product.
Measuring 16mm by 20mm by 1.85mm and weighing less than 1 gram, the drive uses a BGA form factor and a SATA interface, and is compatible with all leading operating systems. The SanDisk iSSD is available in capacities ranging from 4GB to 64GB, with pricing dependent upon the quantity ordered.
"The new category of embedded SSDs should enable OEMs to produce tablets and notebooks with an unprecedented combination of thin, lightweight form factors and fast performance," said Doron Myersdorf, senior director of SSD marketing for SanDisk. "With our embedded flash storage leadership, SanDisk believes it is uniquely positioned to deliver the ultra-compact SSD solutions needed by OEMs."
The company said the drive is designed to deliver the durability needed by portable devices that are frequently dropped or jostled. SanDisk's product portfolio includes flash memory cards for mobile phones, digital cameras and camcorders, digital audio/video players, USB flash drives for consumers and the enterprise, embedded memory for mobile devices and solid-state drives for computers. SanDisk said iSSD offers a "substantial level" of design flexibility for OEMs who seek to create the next generation of tablets and ultra-thin mobile devices based on the standard SATA interface.
"The ultra-thin tablet and mobile computer markets are expected to experience tremendous growth over the coming years, and new advanced platforms will introduce new requirements for storage solutions," said Jeff Janukowicz, research manager for solid-state drives at IT research firm IDC. "New embedded SSDs such as the SanDisk iSSD drive, which meet the stringent size requirements of small and light devices while offering greater performance, are designed to enable OEMs to deliver an enhanced user experience in their next-generation designs."