Sandisk updates SSD line with SATA III models

The new SSDs featuring faster data transfer speeds are for tablets and portable computers

Sandisk has updated its line of solid-state drives (SSDs) for tablet and portable computers with models that feature higher performance.

The new drives have a SATA III interface and can transfer data to and from the PC at roughly double the speed of the Sandisk P4 drives they are intended to succeed, the company said Tuesday at the Computex trade fair in Taipei.

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Solid-state drives are flash memory-based alternatives for hard-disk drives. They are smaller, lighter and use less power than hard disks but byte-for-byte are more expensive than hard disks so are targeted at thin laptops and tablet PCs where their advantages justify their premium price.

The new SanDisk drives are available in two product families.

The U100 SSDs are targeted at ultra-thin laptops and come in capacities from 8GB to 256GB. Data can be read from the U100 at up to 450MB per second and written to the drive at up to 340MB per second. Both speeds are just over double the performance of the P4 drives that SanDisk announced at Computex last year.

The iSSD drives are targeted at tablet PCs and store between 8GB and 128GB depending on the model. They come in a BGA-type package, which features solder dimples on the underside for direct attachment to the tablet PC's circuit board. Maximum data speeds are up to 450MB per second for reading data and up to 160MB per second for writing data.

With the new drives, SanDisk is hoping to capture a bigger slice of the fast-growing tablet PC market.

Its P4 drives were used in computers such as Acer's Iconia and the Asus Eee Slate machines.

Martyn Williams covers Japan and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's email address is martyn_williams@idg.com.

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