Micron Technology's new solid state drive with 6-Gbps SATA connectivity targets the mobile PC market and is the latest entry in an SSD market that so far has been dominated by startups and other nontraditional hard-drive vendors.
The Micron RealSSD C300 SSDs, which are expected to enter production early next year, will be available in 1.8-inch and 2.5-inch form factors, each of which can be purchased in either 128-GB or 256-GB capacities.
The RealSSD C300 SSDs feature Micron's 34nm multilevel cell (MLC) NAND flash memory, which is optimized for capacity.
The Boise, Idaho-based company also offers the RealSSD P200 series enterprise SSDs, which feature single-level cell (SLC) memory technology and are optimized for performance and data reliability.
Micron's RealSSD C300 SSDs are being unveiled as other vendors are already signing OEM contracts with mobile PC manufacturers.
SanDisk, which, like Micron, had its roots in the flash memory business, on Thursday said its 32-GB pSSD drive was selected by Asus for its new Eee PC multitouch netbook computer. That follows a move last month by Sony to adopt the pSSD in its new Vaio X ultrathin laptop.
The SSD market has been dominated by smaller hard-drive companies such as Samsung, or by companies that never manufactured hard drives before, such as as Intel, Fusion I/O, Violin, Texas Memory Systems, PureSilicon and STEC.
The major hard-drive players, including Seagate, Western Digital and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST), are looking to protect their legacy business but are making moves of their own.
Western Digital in March acquired SiliconSystems, which develops SSDs for embedded systems. Seagate started shipping its first SSDs this fall, and expects SSD sales to be material to its overall revenue sometime between 2011 and 2013. HGST is developing SSDs with Intel and plans to introduce them in the first half of 2010.
Meanwhile, storage, server and PC vendors such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, NetApp, Dell and Compellent all adopted SSDs for part of their product lines, joining companies like EMC and Sun, which did the same last year.