Jan 7, 2008

Solid-State SSD Flash Hard Drives Are A Comin'!

The next huge tech shift I think - will be away from conventional hard disk drives to SSD - Solid State Drives based on flash memory chip technology. Already happened to the iPod, eh? A bit more info about SSD's is at www.ssd-solid-state-drives.com -- Fast, silent, low-power, no moving parts, long life, rip-snortin'ultra-fast memory chip disc drives.
They were _supposed_ to be the Next Big Thing in 2007, but folks like Samsung, Sandisk, Lexar, Transcend and Mtron are finally gearing up for _consumer_ market by the end of Q1 2008. Recent advances in NAND flash memory chip tech help - but were still talking about initial drives being only 32 or 64gig, with Toshiba pushing for the big-daddy 128gb - which is now almost SMALL compared to current hard drives.
And the price??? ASTRONOMICAL - but coming down from the $600-1000+ range. Yep you read that right. When it comes to READING data these puppies can be 30-50% faster than most hard drives. Startup and launching applications is dramatically improved. It's WRITING data TO flash that's a bit pokey. But with good bridge and controller chips optimized for ATA-IDE and SATA interfaces, they'll wring the most performance they can.
Still the SSD has tough competition, the Western Digital Raptor 10k RPM 3.5" drive is one of the world's fastest conventional hard drives. It's a tough act to beat - and one SSD's will be pitted & benchmarked against for desktop systems. The Seagate Momentus 7200.2 line of 2.5" laptop drives may be tough to beat as well.
Clearly both technologies will coexist. But its only a matter of time as SSD and flash push beyond what mechanical drives can. Flash is the future. And it's arriving today - first in laptop form-factors, then for desktops.
Post a Comment