In another announcement that foreshadows the impending doom of the Hard Drive, Intel has created an SSD in a smaller form factor than any previously released model. The product, Intel’s Solid State Drive 310 Series, offers similar performance to current drives but at 1/8th of the size (51mm x 30mm x 5mm). At the consumer level, this means manufacturers can more easily integrate dual-drive systems into their PCs. A dual-drive setup typically has system and application files on a small SSD and the bulk of your data (like pictures, movies, and music) on a slower and cheaper HDD. This gives a lot of the performance gains of a full SSD setup at a fraction of the price. The smaller form factor of the 310 Series will allow engineers to fit these setups into laptops at a lower overall cost. Intel also wants to use the smaller form factor to push SSD technology into the small embedded systems market, with numerous potential applications in military, industrial, and government sectors.
While it has taken longer than some analysts predicted, the SSD continues to make its push to uproot the HDD from the storage medium throne. Cost has been the biggest factor, but offsetting some of that cost with a much smaller form factor will undoubtedly be a step in the right direction. If you’re a manufacturer, you can pick up (at a minimum order of 1000 units) a 40GB drive for $99 and an 80GB drive for $179. The full press release is below.
Ultra-Small Intel SSD 310 Enables Dual-Drive Notebooks, Innovative Tablets or Rugged Embedded Applications
- New Intel SSD 310 Series delivers Intel X25-class performance, but in 1/8th the size.
- Ultra-compact SSD enables the accelerated performance of an SSD with higher-capacity HDDs for dual-drive notebooks.
- Intel SSD 310 is ideal for tablets, rugged, low-power military or industrial embedded apps, and was selected by DRS Technologies for its upcoming ARMOR™ tablet PC.
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Dec. 29, 2010 – Intel Corporation announced today the Intel® Solid-State Drive (Intel® SSD) 310 Series, an ultra-small solid-state drive (SSD) that delivers Intel® X25-class award-winning SSD performance, but in one-eighth the size. Measuring 51mm-by-30mm and only 5mm thick, the Intel SSD 310 is a fast, ultra-compact SSD that brings flexibility, ruggedness and scalability to innovative form factors and devices. It can enable highly responsive dual-drive notebooks, innovative single-drive tablets and low-power, rugged embedded industrial or military applications. When paired with a high-capacity hard disk drive (HDD) in a dual-drive system, the Intel SSD 310 can improve overall PC system performance by up to 60 percent.1
A solid-state drive uses no moving parts, and thus is more durable and reliable than a mechanical HDD, while using less power and providing better system responsiveness. The Intel SSD 310 Series contains 34 nanometer (nm) Intel NAND flash memory and is available in an m-SATA form factor in 40 gigabyte (GB) and 80GB capacities.
The Intel SSD 310 supports SATA signals over a PCI Express (PCIe) mini-connector for on-board, compact storage in single-drive netbooks, tablets or handheld devices. Weighing just 10 grams, the compact size also enables dual drive all-in-ones, notebooks or small-form-factor (SFF) desktops to help accelerate boot time and access to frequently used applications or files.
“The Intel SSD 310 series will allow us to provide the advantages of a full-performance Intel SSD paired with the storage of a hard disk drive in a small, dual-drive system,” said Tom Butler, director of ThinkPad product marketing, Lenovo. “We’ve offered Intel SSD solutions for our highly innovative Lenovo ThinkPad laptops for some time, and now we’re looking forward to incorporating this new solution across our ThinkPad line.”
With its rugged design, the Intel SSD 310 Series has been chosen by DRS Technologies for a new ARMOR communications tablet PC to be unveiled at Storage Visions in Las Vegas. The ARMOR mobile and field unit tablet PC is certified by DRS to work in extreme temperatures and hold up to shock, vibration and drops, delivering up to nine hours of operating time.
“In order to meet the rigorous demands of our mobile users, we design for mission-critical tasks that require connectivity and handheld mobility in all-weather operations,” said Mike Sarrica, vice president and general manager for DRS Tactical Systems Inc. “The Intel SSD 310 Series fits the bill by offering a reliable and high performing memory solution.”
“The Intel SSD 310 Series is the first in a wave of SSD products we will introduce throughout the next year,” said Tom Rampone, Intel vice president and general manager of Intel’s NAND Solutions Group. “With this introduction, Intel is offering full SSD performance in a compact, ultra-small form factor.”
Already shipping to customers, the Intel SSD 310 is priced at $99 for the 40GB capacity and $179 for the 80GB version, both in 1,000-unit quantities. More information on Intel SSDs can be found at www.intel.com/go/ssd or by accessing the multimedia press kit at www.intel.com/pressroom/kits/ssd. Follow Intel SSDs on Twitter: @intelssd, Facebook: Intel Solid State Drive (Official) or communities.intel.com.