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Cashing in on the plummeting DRAM market, Solid Data Systems, formerly Database Excelleration Systems, is releasing a line of SCSI-attached solid-state drives designed for I/O-intensive applications such as online transaction processing, Internet services and digital media. Gene Bowles, president of Solid Data said: "These are about turbo charging existing RAID systems that can't keep up with I/O-intensive applications." The new product line is released to coincide with the shift of vital applications away from the mainframe to open systems. Semiconductor-based solid-state drives (SSD) have failed to catch among IT managers on so far, Jim Porter, president of Disk/Trends told Information Week. Access speeds up to 10 times faster than magnetic disks, make the semiconductor disks vastly more expensive. However, as DRAM gets cheaper, SSDs can become more competitive. DRAM prices have fallen from $50 for 16 megabits of capacity to below $5. "The state of this technology is not unlike where RAID was six or seven years ago," said Bowles. He did not expect SSDs to push magnetic disks off the shelf, saying that the two technologies would be "complementary". SDS is releasing three models, with capacity's ranging from 1.34GB to 8.4GB of data. Prices start at $12,353 for a drive with 268MB of capacity and rocket to $138,000 8.4GB. Drives with UltraSCSI and Fibre Channel will be released later this year, along with drives that double the capacities of the three existing devices, Bowles said.®:

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