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Kingston jumps on Intel SSD train

Will supply business after-market

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Intel has bulked up its solid state drive (SSD) channel and rounded up Kingston to resell its products to business notebook and server users. This will complement Intel's own SSD OEM channel.

Kingston supplies memory products to businesses that want to upgrade their PCs and servers, as well as USB memory cards to store consumers' digital stuff - images, music, whatever. Adding SSDs is a logical fit.

Intel launched its SSDs earlier this year. There are mainstream multi-level cell 1.8-inch (X18-M) and 2.5-inch (X25-M) with 250/70MB/sec read/write speeds) format SSDs with 80GB capacity and a higher performance single-level cell X25-E with 32GB capacity and 250/170MB/sec read/write speeds. Higher capacities are coming with 160GB mainstream ones by the end of the year and 250GB flagged for 2009.

There will be two Kingston SSDNow products: a 32GB SSD (probably Intel's X25-E) and an 80GB SSD (probably Intel's X25-M). These will ship in the USA this quarter, but neither the actual ship date nor the prices have been revealed yet. Nor has availability outside the USA.

Kingston and Intel will be competing with OCZ, SanDisk, Imation, Toshiba, SuperTalent and several others in what is rapidly coming to look like an over-supplied yet still emerging SSD after-market. Product prices and supplier profitability are bound to fall, particularly if the credit crunch triggers a recession. It doesn't look as if this product sector will achieve a solid state for some time yet. ®

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