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Intel Corp., the world’s largest maker of x86 microprocessors and supporting chipsets, announced Monday its plans to enter the market of solid state drives, storage devices based on flash memory. The new products from Intel boast high performance and reliability, but they are designed only for consumer electronics.

“Solid state drive technology offers many benefits over traditional hard disk drives including improved performance and reliability. The Intel solid state drive technology provides robust performance, while offering Intel's industry leading quality, validation and reliability for a wide variety of embedded applications,” said Randy Wilhelm, vice president and general manager of Intel’s NAND products group.

The Intel Z-U130 Value Solid State Drive is the company’s first solution in the Intel Value Solid State Drive family that will offer different industry standard interfaces and densities. The product comes in 1GB, 2GB, 4GB and 8GB densities. The drive has read speed of 28MB/s and write speed of 20GB/s, which is lower compared to modern hard disk drives, in fact.

Currently Intel’s Z-U130 value solid state drives are offered for devices featuring ONFI (open NAND flash interface) and cannot be installed into conventional personal computers. However, manufacturers of flash disks can make PC connectable devices on the Z-U130 base using special USB adapters is attached.

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