Intel and Hitachi Join Hands for SSDs

The new parts are expected to surface in early 2010

Intel and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies announced a partnership to “jointly develop and deliver” Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) and Fibre Channel (FC) solid-state drives (SSDs) for servers, workstations, and storage systems. The two companies made the announcement regarding the association on Monday night.

Hitachi is a worldwide supplier of hard disk drives, while Intel has recently started manufacturing and selling consumer and enterprise-class solid-state drives. Currently, the Santa Clara-based chip maker has on display the enterprise-class X25-E Extreme SSDs based on the Serial ATA (SATA) technology. In addition, the company also offers consumer-class drives based on the same technology.

“The combination of a leading Enterprise drive supplier with a NAND technology and manufacturing leader will produce world-class solutions in terms of reliability, performance and system compatibility,” the companies said in a statement. The agreement involves exclusively the two firms, which revealed they should see the first Serial Attached SCSI and Fibre Channel products become available in early 2010.

As many of you already know, SSDs are considered faster and more reliable than traditional spinning platter drives. However, the two companies said that SSDs would only complement HDDs, not replace them. According to them, “The new generation of solid-state drive technology complements existing enterprise-class hard disk drives and is intended for use in storage applications that require extremely high Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) performance and power efficiency”.

In addition, Hitachi announced that it would not cease to provide its customers with traditional hard disk drives, but would offer them along with SSDs. The new drives are said to be “branded and exclusively sold and supported by Hitachi GST,” while being developed under the Intel NAND flash memory and SSD technology. Hitachi also stated that it plans using its expertise in drive firmware, reliability, qualification and system integration, combined with Intel's technology and manufacturing capabilities.

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