The launch of SSD drives has been met with a curious mix of optimism and skepticism. The low power draw, promised higher reliability, greater durability and more have been offset by high prices and limited availability. One curious aspect of the various launches, however, has been that flash manufacturers formerly with no presence in the mass storage market are suddenly finding themselves with the technology that next-gen mass storage needs.

Intel is a classic example. They have long been developing memory and flash technology, but mass storage has not been their forte. Now, they are planning to not only continue the development of their own SSD units, but do such in a fiercely competitive manner as to take on Samsung, BiTMICRO and others.

The greatest benefit to consumers will be lowered prices, of course. According to Samsung, prices on SSDs are dropping by 40% per year and Intel’s involvement in the market will only contribute towards this trend. The company is looking to introduce newer MLC-based SSD drives that will have capacities starting at 80GB and up to 160GB, putting them completely on-par with many desktop units. I for one look forward to see what Intel has in store.