Intel releases ultra-tiny SSD

December 18, 2007 // 12:45 p.m.

Tags: #cheap #drives #flash #ide #intel #pata #sata #ssd

With everyone else in the industry chasing bigger and faster when it comes to solid-state storage it's interesting to see Intel taking an alternative tack with the Z-P140.

The new SSD is a parallel ATA (PATA) device – although Intel have promised a SATA version – which is smaller than your fingernail and about as heavy as a paperclip. The storage is only impressive when related to the size, with 2GB and 4GB models currently available and the technology expected to scale to 16GB in the future.

Designed to be part of the Merom series of devices, the tiny SSD uses only 300mW of power while in use and a tiny 1.1mW while idle. Data transfer rates don't reflect this low-power ethos, though: 40MB/s read and 30MB/s write is pretty impressive.

The actual size of the device is the clever bit: 12mm wide, 18mm tall and only 1.8mm thick. The weight is unlikely to make your portable device cumbersome either, at a teeny 0.6g. Although other solid-state wafers such as MicroSD are small, this marks the first such device to come with the drive electronics integrated rather than on the host.

As the device is four hundred times smaller than the 1.8” devices traditionally used in the ultraportable market, it does make me wonder if we aren't going to see some impressively small RAID setups in the very near future.

What do you think? Have Intel got a hot property on their hands, or do they need to up the capacity before you start taking notice? Sound off in the forums.

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