Hitachi GST, Intel team up for solid-state drives

Hitachi GST and Intel plan to jointly develop high-end SSDs for servers and workstations.

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and Intel are teaming up to produce solid-state drives for servers and workstations, the companies said Tuesday.

SSDs based on flash memory chips are faster and consume less power than disk drives, and because they don't have moving parts they can also be more reliable. Although SSDs are more expensive than disk drives, the high-speed, low-power characteristics they offer are particularly useful in high-end applications, such as data centers.

Under terms of the deal, drive maker Hitachi GST will only use NAND flash chips obtained from Intel in its high-end SSDs. The two companies will jointly develop drives that use Serial Attached SCSI and Fibre Channel interfaces, with products expected to hit the market in 2010, they said. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Intel will continue to sell SSDs for laptops and desktop PCs, which use the SATA interface, under its own brand.

Intel's flash chips are manufactured by a joint venture with Micron, called IM Flash Technologies (IMFT). The joint-venture company doesn't sell to third-party customers, with all of its output going to Micron and Intel.

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