Everyone wants to be packing some of that sweet flash memory in their notebooks these days, but not everyone wants to shell out such high prices for such relatively measly capacities. Well along comes Santa Ana-based STEC Inc. with what it claims to be a breakthrough NAND technology that will allegedly slash the price of solid state drives down to just $2/GB within two years; specifically, the company says it has successfully leveraged so-called multi-level cell-based (MLC) NAND into SSDs with 90MB/s read / 60MB/s write speeds -- good enough to exceed platter-based hard drive performance at prices supposedly half of what they are today. STEC is currently shipping manufacturing samples between 32GB and an impressive 512GB (in a 2.5-inch form factor; the largest 1.8-inch drive is 128GB), although it remains to be seen how much of those savings will be passed along to the consumer when these eventually come to market.

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STEC announces "cheap" 32GB to 512GB MLC NAND-based SSDs