Intel has made a move into the flash storage market with a series of solid-state drives. The USB storage range is branded 'Value' and comes in 1GB, 2GB, 4GB and 8GB capacities.

"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.

Intel clearly wants to grow share in the flash storage space - the demand for solid state chips is soaring as music players and storage drives grow in capacity.

The Intel Z-U130 Value Solid State Drive would appear to be only the beginning of the story for Intel and flash, though the read and write speeds quoted aren't high, at 28MB and 20MB respectively.

Intel says the drives will also be used "in a variety of Intel-based computing platforms, such as servers, emerging market notebooks and low-cost, fully featured PCs."

Crucially, the drives can be used to rapidly boot an operating system. Intel has already been working on this with its Robson caching technology due to launch as part of the Santa Rosa-codenamed Centrino platform over the coming months.

Pricing is not yet available.