Intel enters the flash drive business

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Culver City (CA) - Intel has entered the flash drive business by announcing its Z-U130 flash drive.  Using NAND flash technology, the drive will come in 1, 2, 4 and 8 GB sizes and use a USB connector.  Intel claims the drive will be speedy and will read at 28 MB/sec and write at 20 MB/sec.

Since the drive has no moving parts, Intel says the seek times will also be very quick at up to 22X a regular hard drive.  It will also draw only 65 milliamps of power at idle.  Reliability is another consequence of being solid state and Intel claims it has validated the drive to have a mean time before failure rating of 5 million hours.

The drive could also help in applications that need many simultaneous read and write operations, like in a heavy use database.  Intel says the drive can make up to 100 input/output operations a second.

At first glance the USB connector may seem strange, but many motherboards have an option to boot from a USB device.  A drive with 4 or 8 GB could hold an entire operating system which could speed up start times.