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Solid-State Drive SSD

Solid-State Drive SSD

Next-gen solid-state drives already becoming industry standard...

Solid-state drives are the newest form of data storage to hit the consumer market. More durable and efficient, the SSD is set to become the mainstay of data storage in mobile devices and desktop PCs.

The SSD is a type of storage drive the uses solid state memory (SRAM or DRAM instead of flash memory) to store data. For this reason SSDs are often called RAM drives.

With no moving parts, solid-state drives are less fragile than hard disks. SSDs are also silent, have no mechanical delays and they employ low access time and latency.

The term ‘solid-state’ originally refers to electronics that use semiconductor devices rather than electron tubes. BUt in terms of SSD, it simply refers to the fact the main storage medium is built out of semiconductors, rather than magnetic media used by conventional hard drive disks.

SSD technology has been around for years. Between 1970 and 1980, SSDs were used in the early supercomputers of IBM, Amdahl and Cray. but like most next-gen technologies, the initial high manufacturing costs of the device made them seldom used.

Inside A Solid-State Drive

RAM drives became popular as boot media in the 1980’s when hard rives were expensive and floppy drives were slow. A few systems, such as the Amiga series, the Apple IIgs, and later the Macintosh Portable, supported such booting.

In 1978 StorageTek developed the first modern type of SSD, and in the mid-1980s, Santa Clara Systems introduced the BamRam. BamRam emulated a hard disk using an array of 1 megabit DIP RAM Chips and a custom controller card, it also included a rechargeable battery to preserve the memory when the device was not powered.

In 1983, Sharp released it’s PC-5000. This machine used 128 kilobyte (128 KB) solid-state storage cartridges that contained bubble memory.

In 1995 M-Systems introduced flash-based solid-state drives. (SanDisk acquired M-Systems in November 2006), and since then, SSDs have been used successfully as hard disk drive replacements by the military and aerospace industries.

Until recently the cost of these drives almost matched the price of a new laptop, however this is gradually beginning to change as more manufactures set up the production lines to produce SSDs.

Already, from 2006 to 2007, the price of SSDs dropped by almost half, and every year since then, consumers have been getting more data storage for their money.

Most SSD manufacturers use the same type of non-volatile memory to store data as flash USB drives. However, unlike flash, SSDs are specifically designed for internal use. The non-volatile properties allows flash SSDs to retain memory even during sudden power outages, ensuring data persistence.

There are two main types of SSD, NOR and NAND, both were designed by Dr. Fujio Masuoka in1980. Because NOR flash allows random access to any memory location, it was suitable to replace older ROM chips. NAND flash does not provide a random-access external address bus, rather, data must be read on block-wise basis, making NAND flash a suitable replacement for storage devices.

SDDs typically use a small amount of DRAM as a cache. This is used in a similar fashion to the cache in a conventional hard disk. If/when the power is cut, SSDs maintain data integrity using a small battery or capacitor, this allows the cache to be immediately copied to the drive once power is resumed.

Because flash SSDs have no moving parts, seek time, latency, and other delays inherent in conventional electro-mechanical disks are greatly reduced. High-end netbooks and laptops have brought the SSD into the public eye, and with the ongoing price war to develop these drives at a lower cost, it looks like they are here to stay.

Our Custom Computers now offer SSD Hard Drives >>

Lets take a look at some of the top SSD drives available on the market.

Intel X25-E Extreme SATA Solid-State Drive

“The IntelĀ® Extreme SATA Solid-State Drive (SSD) offers outstanding performance and reliability, delivering the highest IOPS per watt for servers, storage and high-end workstations.”

Intel X25 SSD

Technical Specifications

  • Capacity: 32GB and 64GB
  • Bandwidth Sustained sequential read: up to 250 MB/s
  • Sustained sequential write: up to 170 MB/s
  • Read latency: 75 microseconds
  • Life expectancy 2 Million Hours Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF)
  • Power consumption Active: 2.4W Typical (server workloadĀ¹)
  • Idle (DIPM): 0.06 W Typical

Samsung Flash SSD

“Flash forward to the Samsung solid-state drive. Samsung continues to lead in Flash memory technology with the all-flash solid-state drive. The Samsung SSD looks like a hard disk drive, but it doesn’t act like one.”

Samsung SSD

Technical Specifications

  • Capacity:256GB, 28GB, 64GB, 32GB, 16GB, 8GB
  • Bandwidth Sustained sequential read: 220MB/s
  • Sustained sequential write: 200MB/s
  • Power consumption Active: 1.5W
  • Idle (DIPM): 0.15W

SanDisk SSD G3 SSD

“You have the drive. Demand a laptop with a drive inside that keeps pace with you. Choose, SanDisk G3 solid state drive (SSD).”

SanDisk 64GB SSD

Technical Specifiactions

  • Capacity: 240GB, 120GB, 60GB
  • Bandwidth Sustained sequential read: 200MB/s
  • Sustained sequential write: 140MB/s
  • vRPM: 40,000
  • Life expectancy: Over 100 years of typical user usage

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