New Intel solid-state drives are aimed at boosting Windows startup and wake times, making them a hardware feature that will be especially applicable to Windows 8.
The Intel SSD 313 Series offers what is in effect a solid-state drive cache, increasing the "responsiveness" of PCs that are based on hard disk drives -- that being a word Intel and Microsoft throw around a lot these days.
Responsiveness is code for the kind of instant-on experience you get on a tablet or smartphone.
And both Windows 8 PCs (think: ultrabooks) and tablets should offer that kind of responsiveness as long as the system has an SSD or hybrid SSD-HDD configuration, according to Intel.
Do you remember a Microsoft video demonstrating this last year? Well if you don't, here's a quick refresher:
That very-fast-booting HP EliteBook laptop in the video used a 160GB SSD (likely Intel), according to Softpedia.
Here's what Intel says about the necessary configuration for fastest performance. "When used as a cache, the Intel SSD 313 Series works...with Intel Core processors, select versions of the 6 and 7 series of Intel Express Chipsets, and Intel Rapid Storage Technology drivers (10.5 and newer) to provide a fast-caching solution."
The SSD comes in 20GB and 24GB capacities and is available in either a 2.5 inch or mSATA package.
The SSD 313 Series uses cutting-edge Intel 25 nanometer (nm) Single Level Cell (SLC) NAND flash memory. SLC typically offers better performance and endurance compared with Multi Level Cell (MLC) NAND.
Amazon is selling the mSATA 24GB 313 for about $138. But consumers should also expect Windows 8 ultrabook and tablet suppliers to sell models with these already built in.