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STEC Announces Industry's First MLC-Based Solid State Drive, Optimized for Notebook Applications, Cutting the Price of Current SSDs by Half
MACH8-MLC SSD Proprietary Eight-Channel Controller Technology Enables the Right Performance and Reliability; Currently Sampling to Customers
SANTA ANA, Calif., Dec 4, 2007 (PrimeNewswire via COMTEX News Network) -- STEC, Inc. (Nasdaq:STEC) today announced the industry's first multi-level cell (MLC)-based solid state drive: the MACH8-MLC. Currently sampling to OEM customers, the MACH8-MLC meets the storage requirements of several applications in the high volume portion of the SSD market. Notebook computers and portable media players are among the applications that benefit from MLC-based SSDs due to the need for cost-effective SSD which also provides reduced power consumption, reduced weight and improved reliability.

"STEC continues to provide innovative SSD solutions with advanced controller technology that enables superior performance and reliability, while optimizing costs," said Patrick Wilkison, vice president of marketing and business development for STEC. "Through our long history of SSD development STEC has amassed proprietary technologies to ensure optimal drive-level reliability -- so solving the challenge of performance and reliability for an MLC-based SSD was a subset of the technology previously developed and deployed for enterprise-class SSD. As a result of this latest technology breakthrough, STEC is first to offer an MLC-based SSD solution."

It is widely held that in order for SSDs to be a compelling alternative to hard disk drives (HDDs) in notebook applications, the SSD costs would have to become closer in line with HDD pricing. To achieve the lowest possible cost, the use of MLC NAND is obligatory. The challenge with MLC NAND is its inherently slow write speeds and very low write/erase endurance.

To date, there have not been sufficient break-throughs in SSD to make MLC NAND a viable media for an SSD. In order for MLC NAND to be viable, an SSD must use a high performance controller which can create drive-level performance superior to that of an HDD. Additionally, STEC incorporates advanced ECC and Flash management technology to enable the right levels of data integrity and extended life for SSDs used in notebooks.

"Many notebook OEMs were eagerly waiting for an SSD manufacturer to deliver the right mix of performance and reliability to make MLC-based SSD a reality," said Wilkison. "We expect the MACH8-MLC to dramatically accelerate the adoption of the high volume segment of the SSD market. Rather than availability of viable MLC-based SSD in 2009 as many market pundits anticipated, STEC is delivering this solution today."

Competitive Pricing with Top Performance

An extension to the MACH8 product family, the MACH8-MLC is the first MLC-based NAND product that is viable as a HDD replacement. The MACH8-MLC is fully optimized, providing better performance than HDDs, and it is the most cost-effective SSD in the market.

STEC employs proprietary media management technologies to significantly improve drive-level performance. The MACH8-MLC offers sustained sequential speeds as follows:

      * Read: 90MB/s
      * Write: 60MB/s

These speed levels, while attainable with today's SLC-based SSD, were not thought possible with MLC-based SSD.

MACH8-MLC supports the following interfaces:

    * SATA 2.0
    * PATA

MACH8-MLC achieves unprecedented capacities in SSD, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB, in the following form factors:

    * 1.8"
    * 2.5"

Pricing for SSD has historically precluded SSD from wide adoption in notebooks. The price to make SSD viable in notebook applications is now available. STEC offers this SSD family at pricing of $5/GB today, declining to less than $2/GB within two years.

Pricing and Availability

The MACH8-MLC is available in two models: 2.5" with capacity up to 512GB (in 15mm) and 256GB (in 9.5mm), and 1.8" up to 128GB (in 7mm) and 64GB (in 5mm). Detailed pricing is available upon request. Sales information is available at http://www.stec-inc.com, via email at info@stec-inc.com or by calling (949) 476-1180.

The product warranty will be three years usage in notebook applications.

About STEC

STEC, Inc., with headquarters in Santa Ana, California, designs, manufactures and markets high performance memory and storage solutions based on Flash and DRAM technologies. For more information, visit the company's web site at www.stec-inc.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

This release may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, statements concerning the performance of MACH8 products, potential customers sampling MACH8 products and their level of interest, our ability to address the growing enterprise-class drive market, expected NAND Flash price declines, and anticipated price spread between HDDs and SSDs. Actual results may differ materially from the results predicted. Important factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements are detailed under "Risk Factors" in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission made from time to time by STEC, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K, its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and its current reports on Form 8-K. Other factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements include the following risks: MACH8 products may not perform in the manner anticipated, customer demand for such products may not grow as projected and new technological advancements in the field might produce more competitive products. STEC undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

STEC is a registered trademark of STEC, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks referred to herein are the property of their respective owners.

The STEC logo is available at http://www.primenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=1079

This news release was distributed by PrimeNewswire, www.primenewswire.com


STEC, Inc.
          Media Contacts:
          Press and Media Relations
          Elaine Marshall
            (949) 466-6303
          Investors and Financial Media Contact:
          Mitch Gellman, Vice President of Investor Relations
            (949) 260-8328
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding sTec, Inc.'s business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.