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.