Until recently, traditional consumer hard drive vendors like Seagate and Western Digital have avoided the nascent solid state drive market, preferring to focus on increases in magnetic storage density and total capacity per drive. Their efforts have driven the price per gigabyte of rotating storage down sharply and guaranteed them a solid position in the storage market for the near future; 1TB of storage now costs as little as $0.60/GB, something SSDs may not be able to match for a while.

Now, Western Digital has decided to take on the established consumer SSD players like Intel and OCZ with their own SiliconEdge Blue line of solid state drives, using controller technology from Silicon Systems, a small SSD maker the company purchased last March.

UPDATE: AnandTech is reporting that the new SiliconEdge Blue drives are actually using JMicron controllers. Presumably, the Silicon Systems controllers are being reserved for their enterprise lineup.

The new drives will be available in capacities of 64GB ($279.00), 128GB ($529.00), and 256GB ($999.00) initially, and will be based on MLC flash like existing devices from Intel and OCZ. Western Digital says their new SSDs will support native command queuing and the TRIM command, and will come with a 3 year limited warranty. The company claims the new drives will offer 250MB/s sequential read and 170MB/s sequential write performance, and up to 5000IOPS random read/write speeds.

For a more in-depth look at the new SiliconEdge Blue drives, and how they compares to existing devices on the market, head on over to PC Perspective.