Intel yesterday challenged Samsung in the NAND flash memory market with the launch of its Intel Z-U130 Value Solid-State Drive.

The Z-U130 comes in capacities from 1GB to 8GB and uses standard USB interfaces, the company said. It comes with reads rates of 28MB/s and write speeds of 20MB/s. Intel expects it to be used in everything from servers and PCs to gaming consoles.

Intel's first entry into the solid-state disk market is still four times smaller in capacity compared with products from companies such as SanDisk, which announced a 32GB solid-state disk product in January. But Intel also touts extreme reliability numbers, saying the Z-U130 has an average mean time between failure of 5 million hours compared with SanDisk, which touts an MTBF of 2 million hours.

Intel touted solid-state disk as a faster storage alternative that speeds through common PC or embedded application operations such as locating boot code, operating systems and commonly accessed libraries. It said its product offers "cost-effective," high-performance storage with advantages over hard disk drives or removable USB storage devices.

Samsung, the market leader in NAND flash storage, recently announced its first hybrid drive, which uses NAND with spinning disk. That drive offers capacities of 80GB, 120GB and 160GB, along with 4GB of flash memory for caching data.

Solid-state drives deliver faster boot times, embedded code storage, rapid data access and low-power storage alternatives for value PCs, routers, servers, and gaming and industrial applications.

"Solid-state drive technology offers many benefits over traditional hard disk drives, including improved performance and reliability," said Randy Wilhelm, vice president and general manager of Intel's NAND products group.

The Z-U130 solid-state drive is the company's first product in what Intel said will be a family of value solid-state drives. The Z-U130 comes in 1GB, 2GB, 4GB and 8GB densities.

Intel said it has already made deals with server, notebook and PC manufacturers to include the Z-U130. The company's solid-state disk will also be used in Intel-embedded products for routers and point of sale terminals, it said.