Print 10 comment(s) - last by Yawgm0th.. on May 2 at 11:58 PM

Adtron's 2.5" 96GB SATA SSD
NAND flash memory is here to stay according to iSuppli

The use of NAND flash memory in notebooks is expected to increase sharply in the next few years. We've seen the steady rise in availability of flash solid-state drives in the past few months from Adtron, Samsung and SanDisk. Dell has even gone so far as to add SanDisk's 1.8" 32GB UATA 5000 SSD as a $450 option on its Latitude D420 and a $300 option on its Latitude D620 ATG. The company is also currently offering the drive by itself for a whopping $549 on its website.

Likewise, NAND flash is used onboard in Santa Rosa notebooks as a part of Intel’s Robson initiative. Last, but certainly not least, NAND flash is also used in hybrid hard disk drives (HHDDs) which are currently shipping from Samsung.

The falling prices coupled with the increased performance in comparison to HDDs is what leads iSuppli Corp. to report that nearly 60 percent of the 40.1 million notebooks that will be shipped during Q4 2009 will have some means of flash storage onboard. "In 2003, 1Gbyte of NAND flash memory was nearly 100 times as expensive as an equivalent quantity of HDD storage, according to iSuppli. By 2009, that price gap will dwindle to a factor of slightly less than 14," said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for computer platforms at iSuppli.

iSuppli projects that 54 percent of the ultra-portable notebook market will feature HHDDs while 28 percent will use SSDs by Q4 2009. 58 percent of mainstream notebooks will use HHDDs while 25 percent will use SSDs. Ultra-portables and mainstream notebooks account for 10 percent and 57 percent respectively of overall mobile PC shipments.

Recent research from DataQuest shows that SSD pricing will steadily decline in the next three years. Currently, 1.8" SSDs are five times more expensive as traditional 1.8" HDDs. By 2010, SSDs will be roughly three times as expensive.

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Title needs changed
By mindless1 on 5/2/2007 12:31:08 PM , Rating: 2
Title implies the opposite of what's in body of article, without a description of which notebooks it logically implies all of them.

I think they might be a little aggressive in their estimations as well, it might be that there is a small % of users/uses that opt for a higher expense SSD, but that % is determined by the users and uses, not the cost difference. That would mean a lower price, if still multiple times what a mechanical drive costs, will still not be low enough for most people to be swayed.

I predict that in the next few years even people who normally bought mid to higher end notebooks will be looking at the lower cost models. They'll recognize that their former laptop served the purpose and they don't need to pay a premium to get an equivalent replacement. It used to be that low-end laptops had tiny drives and a fraction of a GB of memory, but evermore so they become viable for common tasks.

That doesn't mean I wouldn't want a SSD, but practically speaking it would be a substantial % of total cost. Likewise I don't buy the newest high-end video card the moment it hits a shelf either, by being a little patient for tech to mature more the cost to compute is a fraction of what some pay. So I'm not bleedin edge, but it seems to bother others who paid for bleeding edge more than it does me, which is funny.

RE: Title needs changed
By protosv on 5/2/2007 12:41:17 PM , Rating: 2
True, but don't forget that software will continue to consume more and more resources. By way of example, 128MB of ram was lots for Win98, 512 was enough for a minimally decent experience in XP, and it seems that 1GB is the minimum for decenct speed with Vista. Plus, as HD video/games/other sofware advances, it will require more and more resources. Eventually, people will want SSDs for the higher performance they provide. That may take quite a while, but it might happen at some point.

On a different topic: Would there be any theoretical benefit from using two SSDs in RAID, or is that benefit only seen with HDDs that have moving parts as their limiting factors?

RE: Title needs changed
By CCRATA on 5/2/2007 1:27:42 PM , Rating: 3
RAID with SSD should provide a much better increase in speed than RAID with HDs since they wouldn't be slowed down by the moving parts. 2 SSDs in RAID 0 should provide nearly double the bandwidth of 1 SSD.

RE: Title needs changed
By semo on 5/2/2007 1:30:05 PM , Rating: 2
On a different topic: Would there be any theoretical benefit from using two SSDs in RAID, or is that benefit only seen with HDDs that have moving parts as their limiting factors?
it is suggested that raid does not improve performance that much in real world.

it is expected that raid 0 could really boost performance in ssd devices since they lack raw throughput but have really low latency. that is why raid 0 doesn't do much for hdds (supposedly).

By 2010?
By DTAllTheBest on 5/2/2007 11:44:46 AM , Rating: 2
Three times!
I thought it would be at least two times.

RE: By 2010?
By MarxMarvelous on 5/2/2007 12:21:56 PM , Rating: 2
Don't for get that regular HD's will also be dropping in price...

RE: By 2010?
By Lazarus Dark on 5/2/2007 4:48:36 PM , Rating: 2
exactly. lets say 1.8" hdd's come to 30 cents per gig by 2010(they seem to be 2$ or more per gig now), that would put ssd's at 90 cents per gig, which is not too bad when you take the power, performance, and durability advantage into account. 130 bucks for 128gb ssd? I'll take two. Or three.

As a IT guy...
By Souka on 5/2/2007 3:57:08 PM , Rating: 2
Couple of issues to address before SDD replace HDD

1: Cost per GB must be less
2: Capacity must equal or surpass HDD
3: Reliablity must equal or surpass HDD (including total hours run time)
4: Throughput must equal or surpass HDD (latency already surpassed)

As of now, item 1, 2, and 4 haven't happened. Item 3...I haven't read anything in regard to lifespan, just all the PR about how "durable" or "Shock resistent" they are...

RE: As a IT guy...
By Jedi2155 on 5/2/2007 8:43:55 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think Cost per GB needs to be less for a replacment to happen but rather just get close to it.

You're just stating things that YOU want ;), not whats necessary for SSD to actually replace HDD.

RE: As a IT guy...
By Yawgm0th on 5/2/2007 11:58:45 PM , Rating: 2
1. No. SSDs cater to a different market. Battery life is lengthened, hibernation time is reduced, and many activities are faster on SSDs. They can remain more expensive because they are better.
2. No. Again, you sacrifice capacity for other advantages. People who need larger disks in a laptop will simply not go for a SSD. They didn't make 7200RPM 160GB laptop drives last time I checked, but many people will still pick the 80GB 7200RPM over the similarly-priced 160GB 5400RPM drive. Most laptop users do not need much capacity. Some do, and that's why Flash doesn't now and might never replace magnetic storage; it offers mixed benefits at a higher price. Really, it supplements magnetic.
3. They are more reliable than HDDs, however their life span in terms of actual use can be shorter. A hard drive will fail over a volume of time, while flash fails over a volume of use. In terms of damage resistance, a flash drive is less likely to be damaged than most other major components in a laptop, and much less prone to damage than a hard disk.
4. No. Throughput is not that important to many users, especially laptop users. Many applications do not benefit appreciably from higher throughput. Almost all applications do benefit significantly from lower latency. We're talking a minor hit on throughput compared to an exponential decrease in latency. This is especially effective for many applications that are laptop-based. Large file transfers will suffer, but people with low-capacity flash drives won't have many large files.

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