updated 12:00 pm EDT, Tue June 3, 2008
Intel Z-P230 Solid-State
Alongside its new chipsets, Intel on Tuesday has also unveiled the Z-P230, a new version of its ultra-small solid-state drive. The flash disk is roughly four times smaller than a 1.8-inch hard drive found in an ultraportable notebook but holds either 4GB or 8GB of storage on chips that are no larger than a penny, as much as quadrupling the storage available through the Z-P140 introduced less than a year ago. The added capacity makes the drive a good match for handhelds as well as extremely low-cost desktops and notebooks, according to Intel.
As there are no moving parts, the drive is skip-proof and consumes considerably less power than a typical rotating hard disk at just 0.3 watts when active. Transfers are relatively fast at 35MB per second for reading and 7MB for writes, the company estimates. Intel builds the SSD on to a card that attaches to any parallel ATA interface on a given device and says the Z-P230 should be available now for companies hoping to build complete systems. A 16GB version will be ready by the end of the year.
Such drives are expected to be pervasive in ultra-mobile PCs as well as Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs), a new category created by Intel for handhelds that focus primarily on simple Internet access and media playback. No customers have been identified for the latest drive, though several MIDs are in development and include the Lenovo IdeaPad U8 as well as a rumored Apple tablet.