Solid State Drive (SSD) released as Laptop disc replacement

Published on: 11/01/2007

Solid State Drive (SSD) Released as Laptop disc replacement

Memory supplier Sandisk has unveiled a new 32GB, 1.8-inch solid state drive (SSD), touted as a replacement for the standard mechanical hard disk drive.

The disks are initially aimed at enterprise customers but Sandisk hopes that this will then spread to consumer laptops as prices get cheaper. The falling cost of flash memory has made SSD a viable and economically attractive alternative to existing technologies in a wider variety of applications, including mobile PCs aimed at enterprise and consumer users. When SSD devices become more affordable, their superior features over rotating disk drives will probably see the end of hard discs ... completely. However at the moment using the flash disk instead of a normal hard drive in a laptop will increase the end-user price by around £300.

Sandisk claim that the new SSD could achieve a sustained read rate of 62 MBps and a random read rate of 7,000 inputs/outputs per second for a 512-byte transfer - more than 100 times faster than most hard disk drives. The drive also boasts a two million hours mean time between failures . It also claimed that a laptop using the flash disk could boot up Windows Vista in 35 seconds with an average file access rate of 0.12 milliseconds, compared with 55 seconds and 19 milliseconds, respectively, for a laptop PC with a hard disk drive.

There has been a huge increase in demand for NAND flash memory over the past few years from consumer devices such as digital cameras, MP3 players and mobile phones and this is leading to lower prices for memory using the technology.