Fast Company

Samsung Mass Produces Solid State Hard Drives

Admittedly, hard drives are not the stuff of most peoples' dreams. But they are, however, increasingly important in the future generations of notebooks: because they have no moving parts and can be configured to sip energy, they provide a longer-lasting, smaller, more durable memory system than conventional mechanical drives do. That, in turn, means lighter and longer-lasting notebooks, both in terms of operating longevity and battery life. Now that you care a little more about SSDs than you did yesterday, here's what Samsung [SEO:005930] -- who provides memory for companies like Apple [NASDAQ:AAPL] -- is up to.

A few months ago, the company promised it would begin building 128GB SSDs, which would be the first practically-sized SSDs on the market (current solid state drives top out around a meager 80GB). The company is now making good on its promise, announcing the mass production of low-priced multi-level cell drives with read speeds of 90Mbps and write speeds of 70 Mbps. The best part: Samsung claims these drives will last 4 to 5 times longer than traditional drives, which have a life of around 4 years. That's right. We're looking at 16-year-survivable drives. The drives will be 9.5mm thick, and the company says they plan a 256GB version for Q4 this year. Anticipating an 800% uptick in SSD sales by 2010, Samsung's placement of SSDs as a top priority tell us a lot about the priorities of its potential customers -- ultra-small, durable, cheap laptops.

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