A harsh review of solid state disks by Tom's Hardware earlier this week busted the myth that these drives use less power than hard disk drives but SSD makers are quick to point out that things will change in the future.
However, high-performance solid state drive maker STEC provided some insight into what to expect. Data used in the Tom's Hardware piece applies to the current first-generation mass-market SSDs but not necessarily to upcoming drives, said Patrick Wilkison, vice president of marketing and business development at STEC. "They are using legacy drives, none of which will be used by any major PC OEM," Wilkison said in an e-mail.
Wilkison pointed out that the most competitive drives adopted by computer makers will have better power management. "Over time, these drives will need to have very intelligent power management systems. Some of these SSDs will have them, and those (that) do not have such power intelligence will not be used (by PC makers)."
And the next crop of SSDs based on multilevel cell (MLC) technology will need to aggressively manage power. "In order to make MLC viable, the drive needs a much more powerful processor/controller, which implies more power draw because frequencies will be higher, number of channels will be higher, ECC (error correcting code) engine will be working harder," he said.