Western Digital launches line of embedded SSDs

SiliconDrive III hardware offers a significant performance upgrade

Western Digital Corp. today announced that it has begun shipping its first solid-state line of disk drives based on technology it acquired in March when it bought SiliconSystems Inc. The drives are targeted at embedded systems for business use, not the consumer market.

The SiliconDrive III SSD product family represents an upgrade to SiliconSystems' SiliconDrive II line of drives, with faster read/write speeds and increased capacities.

The SiliconDrive III SSD family includes 2.5-in. Serial ATA (SATA) and Parallel ATA (PATA) drives and 1.8-in. Micro SATA drives featuring native SATA 3 Gbits/sec or ATA-7 interfaces. The drives offer read speeds up to 100MB/sec. and write speeds to 80MB/sec. in capacities up to 120GB. The SiliconDrive II SSDs had 32GB of capacity and read/write rates of 32MB/sec. and 17MB/sec., respectively.

The SiliconDrive III 2.5-in. SSD drives range in capacity from 30GB to 120GB; the 1.8-in SSDs for hand-held devices offer between 30GB and 60GB capacity.

The SiliconDrive III SSDs lack the performance of many popular consumer SSDs on the market today. Drives sold by OCZ Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. and Intel Corp., all have I/O data transfer rates that are in some cases more than twice that of Western Digital's new SSDs.

Michael Hajeck, senior vice president and general manager of Western Digital's solid state storage business unit, said the SiliconDrive III product family will help Western Digital leverage its sales and distribution channels to push the adoption of SSD technology beyond SiliconSystems' traditional embedded systems reseller customers. Western Digital is looking to move into data streaming applications such as multimedia content delivery systems and data center media appliances.

"SiliconDrive III is an ideal solution for [hardware resellers] that require increased performance, capacity, reliability and data throughput in their applications," Hajeck said.

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