Tiny SanDisk SSDs target ultra-thin notebooks, tablets

— 1:39 PM on May 31, 2011

We might not hear SanDisk's name all that often in the realm of enthusiast solid-state drives, but the company has a considerable footprint in the flash drive market—and a full line of SSD products. The company extended that line today with two newcomers: the U100, a "flexible, cost effective solution for ultra-thin notebooks," and the iSSD i100, whose small size makes it an "ideal storage solution for slim, powerful tablets and ultra-thin notebooks."

According to SanDisk, the U100 is the successor to its previous P4 drive. The U100 features a 6Gbps Serial ATA interface, transfer speeds of up to 450MB/s during reads and 340MB/s during writes, and capacities from 8GB to 256GB. SanDisk says it's offering the U100 in a variety of form factors, from plain old 2.5" to mSATA mini and "customized modules."

The i100 has a 6Gbps SATA interface and the same rated read speed, but its write speed purportedly tops out at 160MB/s. What makes it unique is its size—the i100 is the "world's smallest, fastest" 128GB SSD with a ball-grid-array design, according to SanDisk. The drive measures 16 x 20 mm, and its thickness ranges from 1.4 mm (for capacities of 8-64GB) to 1.85 mm (for the flagship 128GB offering). No wonder SanDisk is aiming this bad boy at tablets.

SanDisk says both drives sip power, with consumption purportedly as low as 10mW.

At least one of the drives has already found a home. SanDisk tells us that Asus' 11.6" UX Series ultra-thin notebooks we told you all about yesterday will feature the U100 SSD. UX Series notebooks measure 17 mm (0.66") at their thickest points and tip the scales at only 2.4 lbs, so clearly, the new SanDisk drives aren't weighing them down.

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