Intel has finally decided to throw its hat into the solid state ring, announcing at its developer's conference this week that it plans a series of Flash drives within the next year.
The company is looking to tap both the single-level cell technology, which values speed over capacity and reliability, and multilevel cell technology, which is likely to dominate the SSD market eventually.
Intel says it will debut 80 and 160 GB MLC drives and 32 and 64 GB SLC drives within the next few months, followed by larger MLC designs, possibly reaching 320 GB, sometime in 2009. The company is set to build on the 1.8-inch and 2.5-inch form factors with SATA II interfaces.
Intel's entry into the market is one of the strongest indicators yet that SSDs are here to stay, and will most likely take a large bite out of magnetic technology's share of the primary storage market. Company execs are saying that the reason they waited so long to jump in was to boost the reliability of the technology. If they really have made significant gains in that area, SSDs will be hard to resist.