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Intel to use Centrino 2 to promote solid-state drives

Steering SSDs into the mainstream?

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Intel will offer to bundle its promised solid-state drives with its upcoming Centrino 2 platform, it has been claimed. The plan is being portrayed as a bid to push SSDs into the mainstream.

Today, SSDs generally command a significant premium over the price of equivalent notebooks fitted with a hard drive. Quite how far Intel will use the bundle approach to drive down the cost of implementing SSDs remains to be seen.

Centrino 2 - codenamed 'Montevina' - is due to debut late June, according to industry moles. Back in March, Intel executive Troy Winslow said the chip giant would ship 80GB and 160GB 2.5in- and 1.8in-format SSDs in Q2, so the timing of both product types could easily coincide.

According to insiders cited by Digitimes, the Flash drives will be branded Intel High Performance SSD, with the model codes X25-M and X18-M for 2.5in and 1.8in sizes, respectively. The first SSDs will be 80GB. They'll use a SATA interface.

That makes the 1.8in model a logical update for Apple's MacBook Air - reviewed here - allowing the company to deliver a second-gen machine that connects to storage over a SATA bus rather than the slower, parallel ATA bus the current version uses. The report claims the 160GB version won't arrive until late Q4, with 250GB SSDs following next year.

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