While trying desperately to ramp up Atom production, Intel are also looking to the future of their Centrino platform, with the upcoming Centrino 2 Montevina chipset looking likely to include solid-state drives (SSD). According to sources at PC manufacturers, Intel is looking to release SSDs by the end of Q3 2008, in recognition of the fact that the shock-proof technology will eventually become the mainstream notebook storage medium. The range will be known as Intel High Performance SSD, and be targeted at enterprise, mid-range and high-end notebook markets.
Intel will apparently be releasing two sizes of drive, 2.5-inch and 1.8-inch, known individually as Client X25-M and Client X18-M respectively. Both SSDs will store 80GB and use a SATA interface. By the end of Q4 2008, sources continue, Intel will have doubled capacity to 160GB, followed by a jump to 250GB and above in 2009.
An increasing number of notebooks are now available with solid-state storage, despite the technology not being integrated into the Centrino platform. Apple’s MacBook Air has an expensive SSD option, while Lenovo took the opposite tack and released their ThinkPad X300 at first with only solid-state memory; traditional hard-drives were introduced in the following months. SSDs are prized for their lower power-requirements, faster data access times and resistance to bumps and jolts; however they are still priced at a premium above traditional platter-based drives, which is presumably why Intel is not committing the entire Centrino 2 platform to use them.