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Intel slobbers over flash-based server storage

Pricey but fast

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IDF Intel plans to shakeup the storage market in 2008 with the introduction of solid-state disks designed for data center hardware.

SVP Pat Gelsinger revealed Intel's ambitions during a speech today here at the Intel Developer Forum. Ever excitable, Gelsinger gushed over the possibility of planting NAND flash memory-based drives in servers. Such gear should provide a solid performance boost for pulling information off disk, while lowering power consumption compared to spinning media.

In March, Intel announced the Intel Z-U130 Solid-State Drive – a unit meant for laptops and PCs.

Intel expects its first generation server drives to arrive at 32GB, Gelsinger said, during a press conference after his speech. The executive urged that customers will be attracted to the hardware despite its limited capacity and higher price compared to today's beefy magnetic disks.

"Capacity will not be the buying criteria," he said.

Instead, customers in search of peak performance – a 10X to 50X increase in IOPS (input-output operations) per second – will shell out for the products, as will those hoping to lower the overall power consumption of their data centers.

Intel has a pair of joint flash memory ventures with STMicroelectronics and Micron. ®

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