Intel has demonstrated a tiny 8GB solid-state storage drive (SSD) that's small enough to use with mini-laptops, and said it would make a 16GB version available in the fourth quarter of this year.

The Intel Z-P230 PATA 8GB comes in the form of a chip, is four times smaller than a traditional 1.8in hard disk drive and weighs 10g.

SSDs have no moving parts, making them more rugged than hard drives, according to Intel. SSDs also consume less power than hard drives, giving laptops more battery life. Intel is aiming this product at Netbooks and Nettops, a brand of low-cost PCs launched by Intel earlier this year that will carry the company's low-cost Atom processor.

The announcement was made at the Computex trade show in Taipei.

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The drive will be available for $45 (£23) in units of 1,000 in the third quarter of this year. Intel declined comment on the pricing for the 16GB SSD.

The company last month announced it would double the density of its 16GB drives to 32GB drives that will enable on-board storage capacity of up to 256GB of storage in a 1.8in form factor. The drives will be linked on-board via a standard PATA (parallel advanced technology attachment) interface.

The company will ship samples of the 32GB drive starting in June, with mass production expected in the second half of this year. Intel didn't comment on when it expects to formally ship the 32GB drive.

Intel introduced SSD drives late last year, announcing 2GB and 4GB drives. At the time, Intel said it would grow SSD storage modules to 64GB in two years.

For first looks at all the latest products that debut at Computex 2008, visit PC Advisor's dedicated Computex 2008 video blog