ExtremeTech writes: "When we first heard Intel was diving into the solid-state drive business, we were pretty surprised. In retrospect, though, we probably should have seen it coming-the writing was on the wall. Intel's joint venture with Micron gave them tremendous NAND flash memory capacity. The company had also introduced tiny SSDs for handheld devices. Packaging NAND chips into larger format drives is just a logical step.
Intel is currently shipping 80GB MLC (multi-level cell) drives into the market, at $595 in quantities of 1,000. The 2.5-inch form factor is known as the Intel X25-M, while the 1.8-inch drives are the X18-M. End-user prices will probably be well north of $600. MLC NAND flash holds two bits of data per cell, and has traditionally been slower than SLC (single level cell) flash. Intel is also shipping 32GB SLC drives into the high-end server market, but those drives weren't available for testing."