Intel has launched a new ultra-tiny solid-state drive series that practically matches the performance of its 2.5-inch drives in a fraction of the footprint. The company's new 310 SSD series measures only 51 x 30 x 5mm and weighs less than 10 grams. Despite their compact size, the new drives offers peak sustained reads and writes of 200MB/s and 70MB/s, which isn't far behind the 2.5-inch 80GB X25-M's read/write rates of 250MB/s and 70MB/s.

  310 Series 40GB 310 Series 80GB X25-V 40GB X25-M 80GB
Sustained reads 170MB/s 200MB/s 170MB/s 250MB/s
Sustained writes 35MB/s 70MB/s 35MB/s 70MB/s
4KB random reads 25k IOPS 35k IOPS 25k IOPS 35k IOPS
4KB random writes 2.5k IOPS 6.6k IOPS 2.5k IOPS 6.6k IOPS

The 310 SSD series comes in 40GB and 80GB capacities and utilizes the same 34nm MLC NAND flash memory found in Intel's 2.5-inch SSDs. Naturally, Intel is targeting manufacturers of mobile systems, so the new drives won't be available as a stand-alone retail product. DRS Technologies has announced plans to use the SSD 310 in its upcoming ARMOR communications tablet, while Lenovo will offer the mini-SATA drives in future ThinkPad notebooks.