Intel ships 160 GB solid state disk drives

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Intel ships 160 GB solid state disk drives

Santa Clara (CA) – Intel kept its promise and apparently has begun shipping 160 GB SSDs. The new 160 GB drive will join the 80 GB 2.5” model in Intel’s mainstream product line.

We heard that the SSDs are only available in sample quantities and this time and will become commercially available in Q1. Since they are based on the same multi-level cell technology as the 80 GB X25-M (the “m” actually stands for “mainstream”) model, we would expect similar performance data – read speeds of up to 250 MB/s and write speeds of about 70 MB/s.

The power consumption should be about 0.15 watts under load.

Pricing remains a mystery at this time, but common sense suggests that these drive will cost about twice of what the 80 GB models are going for these days: $550-$600 for OEMs and about $700-$800 retail. However, the competition in this high-performance SSD segment is increasingly competitive, which provides hope that these drives may cost less than $1000.

The price is speculation right now, but we are quite certain that we will not find these “mainstream” drives in any mainstream PC in 2009.