Intel and Hitachi join forces to make solid-state drives

3 Dec 2008

Chip giant Intel and Japan’s Hitatchi Global Storage Technologies have entered into a joint venture to develop serial attached SCSI (SAS) and fibre channel enterprise-class solid-state drives (SSDs) for servers, workstations and storage systems.

The companies said 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 two companies will work together exclusively to deliver enterprise SSDs with SAS and fibre channel interfaces, with the first products expected to be available in early 2010.

The new generation of SSD 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 will use Intel NAND flash memory and SSD technology.

“The new SSDs for the enterprise include a number of architectural breakthroughs and improved 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.”

Hitachi GST has expertise in drive firmware, reliability, qualification and system integration that, together with Intel’s technology and manufacturing capabilities, is expected to deliver world-class solutions with the performance and reliability that enterprise storage customers demand.

Hitachi GST will continue to provide its OEM (original equipment manufacturer) customers with a comprehensive portfolio of enterprise storage products that includes traditional HDDs and forthcoming SSDs. Intel will continue to develop, market and sell its award-winning product lines of high-performance SATA SSDs.

“We understand the needs of today’s enterprise customers and are committed to delivering breakthrough products that increase their data centre 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 centre.”

By John Kennedy

Pictured: a solid-state drive manufactured by Intel, but Hitachi will soon be getting in on the SSD act

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years