Samsung today presented a flash memory based replacement for conventional hard disk drives. The solid-state disk (SSD) uses NAND memory chips instead of a mechanical recording system, this ensures lower power consumption and high data rates.
The first SSD with parallel Advanced Technology Attachment interface will ship in capacities up to 16GB. Such a device will feature sixteen 8Gb NAND memory chips and will cost approx. $900 with the current market prices of these chips.
The big advantage of SSD is its power usage, it requires only 5 percent of the power used by a normal HDD and it weights less than half as much. The SSD can read up to 57MB per second and write up to 32MB per second.
The Solid-State Disks will be much more resistant to harsh environmental conditions and shocks because they don't use moving parts. This would make them ideal for industrial or military markets. Additionally they are also noise-free and don't produce as much heat as a regular HDD.
Samsung expects the SSDs will be used in portable products such as tablet PCs or laptops. Initially the company will launch three SSDs; a 4GB and 8GB with a size similar to 1.8-inch drives and a 16GB 2.5-inch drive.
The company states the only reason why flash drives haven't been commercialized yet is the higher cost compared to conventional hard disk storage. According to Samsung the price of flash memory is still higher but over the years the difference will become smaller and smaller. The company believe SSDs will be able to compete with micro hard-disk storage on price within years. Mass production of these flash-based disks will start in August.