Intel unveils solid-state thumbnail drive

Intel unveils solid-state thumbnail drive

Z-P140 Flash drive holds up to 4GB

Intel has introduced a solid-state hard drive roughly the size of a fingernail.

The Z-P140 Flash drive measures 12mm x 18mm x 1.8mm and weighs just six-tenths of an ounce.

Don Larson, product manager for Intel's Nand Flash chip branch, said that the 2GB or 4GB chip is coupled with an even smaller hard drive controller chip.

The controller can be used to manage three additional Flash chips, allowing for up to 16GB of storage which appears in the operating system as a single hard drive.

Intel plans to use the new drives in mobile internet devices, which can require relatively large amounts of storage space.

Larson told reporters that the Z-P140 could allow device makers to store all the code for a sophisticated operating system while taking a minimum amount of space.

"The trend is toward making things more mobile," he said. "With this device, we can provide the capacity, size and performance required."

The new drive is a key part of Intel's Menlow platform for mobile devices. Menlow combines Intel's Silverthorne mobile processor with its Poulsbo chipset in an effort to keep power consumption down to a minimum while still providing enough processing power for smartphones or other mobile devices.

The Z-P140 joins the larger Z-U130 drive in the company's solid-state drive arsenal.

First introduced in March, the Z-U130 is slated for sometime next year. Intel plans to offer a look at both products along with prototype Menlow devices at the CES conference in January.