Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Coming Age of Solid State Drives

Samsung says the Sold State Drive (SSD) market is expected to reach US$200 million in 2007 and increases to US$6.8 billion by 2010. This implies an impressive compound annual growth rate of over 200 percent.

In July 2006, Information Week reported about a report from Market research firm In-Stat which said that '50% of mobile PCs will sport solid-state drives by 2013, and that the drives may possibly replace hard disk drives as the preferred storage medium in laptop computers within 10 years', that is, by 2016.

First, this month, Sandisk introduced the SSD SATA 5000, a 32 GB 2.5-inch hard drive designed to serve as a drop-in replacement for traditional 2.5-inch hard drives in laptops and other computer systems.

Sandisk claims the SSD SATA 5000 is approximately twice as fast as the hard disk drive
The SSD SATA 5000 sports a low power consumption rate, less than 50%, compared to the hard disk drives.

Samsung has a 32 GB SSD as well. The company has taken it up a notch and soon it will start shipping a 1.8”-type 64 Gigabyte (GB) flash-solid state drive (SSD) later this year. The price is yet unknown – expect it be on the high side on introduction which will soon fall to lower levels boosting widespread acceptance.

Samsung claims that the 64 GB SSD is faster and more power-efficient than the 32 GB version. The company says the read and write’ performance of the new SLC flash-SSD is 20 percent and 60 percent respectively better than the 32GB flash-SSD
Better than Hard Disk Drives
Vis-à-vis normal hard disk drives, Samsung claims the Read/Write Speed is 4.3 times and 6.4 times faster. Moreover, the new 64 SSD weighs ¼ of hard drives and consumes power 1/3-1/15 to that of hard drives.

Big users of the Solid State Drives:
If prices start faster than earlier anticipated, within 5-7 years, I think SSD drives may take over the market position enjoyed by Hard Disk drives because of low weight, faster speeds, low power consumption and low prices resulting from mass manufacturing.

Already, Samsung is reported to be gradually moving away from hard drive manufacturing.

A sampling of some big SSD adopters:

- Notebooks
- Camcorders: eventually, MiniDV, DVDs and other formats will give way to inbuilt storage systems.
- Servers: A big source of Global Warming, according to many.


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