SanDisk to manufacture laptops

SanDisk Corp., a famous brand in the world of small flash memory cards for cellphones and digital cameras, said on Thursday it is well positioned to establish a presence in the fast-growing laptop PC market.
The US company is introducing flash-based storage drives for laptops, a new-generation storage device that stores information on flash memory chips rather than the magnetic platters that make up a traditional, bulky hard drive.
Flash drives also reduce power consumption and offer better shock resistance when dropped. The firm’s foray into the computing market makes sense –nearly 60 per cent of the 40.1 million notebook shipments will have flash data storage in the fourth quarter of 2009, up from a slim 0.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2007, according to market researcher iSuppli Corp.
“We are well positioned to be a leader in the mobile PC market with SSDs,” Doreet Oren, a company product marketing director, told Reuters in an interview, referring to flash-based solid-state drives.
In a battle with other niche SSD players such as Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. of South Korea, SanDisk said it is targeting the enterprise market first, and then expanding the scope to individual consumers.
“The SSD is a very important product for SanDisk and I can tell you that we are expecting it to be contributing to our sales,” Oren said on the sidelines of Computex, the world’s second-largest PC fair.
She declined to give financial or shipment forecasts. Pointing to a computer screen which demonstrates how a SanDisk 32-gigabyte SSD can boot up Microsoft’s new Vista operating system faster than a conventional drive, Oren said the flash drives made laptops more reliable.
Military and aerospace customers have been buying the company’s solid state drives for about a decade. SanDisk signed a licensing agreement with Hynix Semiconductor Inc. and a deal with Dell Inc. to sell notebook computers that use SanDisk’s 32Gbyte SSDs.
Laptops sporting SanDisk’s latest 64Gbyte SSDs will be available for some PC makers by the end of the year. SanDisk, which reported a first-quarter loss, has said it is optimistic there will be renewed growth heading into the fourth quarter of 2007 and forward to 2008.
New products that use its flash memory chips, including Apple Inc.’s iPhone, portable media players and other consumer products, are expected to ignite demand for its products.