First Western Digital-branded SSDs start shipping

— 4:56 PM on June 16, 2009

Western Digital didn't take long to start capitalizing on its purchase of SiliconSystems. Two and a half months after completing the acquisition of the solid-state drive maker, WD has unleashed a whole line of WD-branded SSDs.

The SiliconDrive III series is now shipping in 2.5" and 1.8" form factors with capacities ranging from 30GB to 120GB. WD claims top sustained speeds of 100MB/s for reads and 80MB/s for writes. The company also offers 2.5" SiliconDrive III SSDs with IDE interfaces, but those can only hit 85MB/s during reads and 60MB/s when writing.

In both 2.5" lineups, Western Digital offers intermediate capacities of 60GB and 90GB—the latter being pretty uncommon, seeing as most other SSD makers jump straight from 64GB to 128GB. (Intel also offers an intermediate step in its lineup with the 80GB X25-M.)

1.8" SiliconDrive III models are only shipping with 30GB and 60GB capacities, by the way, even if WD quotes the same performance numbers as for their 2.5" SATA brethren.

WD doesn't say how much these things cost. However, it's purportedly aiming the drives at the "network-communications, industrial, embedded-computing, medical, military and aerospace markets." Since all of these SSDs also have five-year warranty coverage, they could end up out of the reach of consumers seeking affordable storage upgrades for their laptops.

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