Hitachi joins hand with Intel in solid state drive business

By Koushik Saha on 3.12.08

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Intel and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies today announced plans to jointly develop and deliver Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) and Fibre Channel (FC) enterprise-class solid-state drives (SSDs) for servers, workstations and storage systems.

The move marks a strategic shift for Hitachi, the world's third-largest hard drive maker, which until now has not made a commitment to SSD technology.

Hitachi GST is leading Enterprise drive supplier while Intel is a major manufacturer of NAND technology. The two companies said that they would work together exclusively to deliver enterprise SSDs with SAS and FC interfaces, with the first products expected to be available in early 2010.

The new generation of solid-state drive technology complements existing enterprise-class hard disk drives (HDDs) and is intended for use in storage applications that require extremely high Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) performance and power efficiency.

The new SSDs will be branded and exclusively sold and supported by Hitachi GST and use Intel NAND flash memory and SSD technology. The the first shipment planned for 2010, the companies said in a joint statement.Hitachi GST said that it would continue to provide its OEM customers with a portfolio of enterprise storage products that includes traditional HDDs and forthcoming SSDs. Intel will also continue to develop, market and sell its product lines of SATA SSDs.

Hitachi's SSD business would market the devices for business-use such as in servers and computer storage systems, and will not follow rivals like Toshiba in targeting laptop PCs and other consumer-based applications.

"The new solid-state drives for the enterprise include a number of architectural breakthroughs and improve performance and energy usage models that will change enterprise computing," said Randy Wilhelm, vice president and general manager, Intel NAND Solutions Group. "Intel and Hitachi GST share a common objective in delivering SAS/FC products based on solid-state technology that will help enterprise customers meet the skyrocketing demands for performance while reducing space, power and cooling costs."

"We understand the needs of today's enterprise customers and are committed to delivering breakthrough products that increase their data center performance and reduce total cost of ownership," said Shinjiro Iwata, executive vice president, Strategic Business Operations, Hitachi GST. "By expanding our product line-up to include both traditional enterprise hard drives and new SSDs, Hitachi GST will continue to provide customers with a proven set of products tailored to meet the high-performance, high-reliability requirements of today's data center."

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