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Toshiba also says the price of NAND will drop 50% every year from now on

While solid-state drives (SSDs) aren’t the most popular storage medium in notebook computers right now, they are expected to grow significantly in the near future. Toshiba Semiconductor is betting that SSD drives grow significantly over the next three years and is enhancing capacity and reducing costs to grab that growing market.

Toshiba Semiconductor President Shozo Saito said at a seminar that he expects a full quarter of all notebooks shipped to be equipped with SSDs by 2011. Toshiba expects the SSD market to grow 133% every year on average through 2010 and Toshiba says its building capacity faster than that.

Toshiba plans to address several issues currently keeping SSDs from becoming more widely used. Toshiba is also addressing the concerns with regards to the rewrite limit for multi-level cells used in today’s SSDs. Saito said at the conference that, “If data is efficiently concentrated and stored in caches in an effort to reduce the frequency of rewrites, rewrites on SSDs can be reduced to a number far below 10,000 times in five years, even for heavy PC users."

Other major hurdles for the widespread adoption of SSD drives are the price and capacity current drives offer. Toshiba s addressing the capacity issue by working on miniaturizing the production process it uses from the current 43nm process it introduced in March 2008 to 30nm which it expects to introduce in 2009.

Toshiba will also improve multi-valuing by moving from its current 3-bit-per-cell product to a 4-bit-per-cell product. SanDisk beat Toshiba to market by a month with its 40nm 3-bit-per-cell process in February of 2008.

The price premium for SSDs compared to 2.5-inch Hard drives is expected to drop to a 3.2 times premium, roughly half of what it is now according to Toshiba.

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RE: Dreaming is nice
By daftrok on 4/24/2008 1:15:40 PM , Rating: 3
I would much rather see the movement from 2.5" to 1.8" on laptops. 1.8" HDDs are now capable of running at 5400 RPM. This means that now laptops can run on these tiny HDDs and get the same (if not better) performance they do with a 2.5" 5400 RPM HDD. And if they want the boost to 7200 rpm, then they can get a 2.5" HDD.

This could also mean that desktops can now adequately run on 2.5" 7200 rpm HDD instead of 3.5" 7200 rpm. And now with the Velociraptor 2.5" 10,000 rpm HDD, people would only need a 3.5" HDD for 15,000 rpm (that and 1 TB HDDs).

I think this would happen before SSDs become accepted. Right now SSDs are just too expensive. They need to at least make a 128 GB SSD that runs faster than a 5400 rpm HDD both in reading AND writing AND take a lot less power doing it AND last longer AND be around 200-300 dollars. In other words, this is gonna take a while.

RE: Dreaming is nice
By Pandamonium on 4/24/2008 1:45:21 PM , Rating: 3
No OEM wants to have a chassis that has to be able to switch between 1.8"/2.5" drives. Very few home users would willingly accept the same speed hard drive in a new computer in exchange for a smaller physical disk.

You're setting the bar too low for what people expect.

As for what SSDs are: current SSDs are 1) faster than 5400RPM HDDs, 2) use far less power than HDDs, 3) have projected MTBF based on rewrite cycles (with the 64+GB models) greater than HDDs, 4) are much more shock resistant than HDDs.

The only requirement in your list not yet met is price, which is exactly what this article is about.

RE: Dreaming is nice
By daftrok on 4/24/2008 2:11:51 PM , Rating: 1
There are times when SSDs take around the same power as their HDD counter parts and have COMPARABLE read and write speeds. Of course they have the seek time but there are times when they are slower when it comes to reading and writing. There have also been cases when faulty SSDs hit the market and crapping out a lot sooner then they should. They have a lot more hurdles to jump (biggest one price) before it is accepted. Frankly I'd rather get an 80 GB 1.8" 5400 rpm HDD with a 2.5" casing I can stick into my laptop instead of a SSD.

RE: Dreaming is nice
By hanishkvc on 4/24/2008 3:58:48 PM , Rating: 2
The amount of parallelism possible in a SSD is such that if cost is not a factor the speeds (both read and write) that can be achieved is really superb, and thus is in a way decoupled from the speed of the individual flash chips.

RE: Dreaming is nice
By MrDiSante on 4/24/2008 7:14:45 PM , Rating: 2
This could also mean that desktops can now adequately run on 2.5" 7200 rpm HDD instead of 3.5" 7200 rpm. And now with the Velociraptor 2.5" 10,000 rpm HDD, people would only need a 3.5" HDD for 15,000 rpm (that and 1 TB HDDs).

I understand why you'd want a smaller hard-drive in your lappy, but what on earth is the need for smaller than 3.5" HDD's in your desktop? There's no performance advantage - quite the opposite, on the outer part of the disc you'll get better performance with a 3.5", no cost advantage, no noise advantage, etc. If I can get a 640GB 7200RPM HDD for $120 why on earth would I settle for 250GB 5400RPM HDD? There's just no sense in that. I'm all for smaller (physically) hard-drives in laptops, but in desktops? There's just no point.

RE: Dreaming is nice
By Omega215D on 4/25/2008 4:05:53 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe these would be good in HTPCs?

RE: Dreaming is nice
By Diesel Donkey on 4/24/2008 9:46:06 PM , Rating: 3
I have a 7200 RPM HDD in both my laptop and my desktop, and I guarantee you that the one in the desktop is substantially faster. The tangential velocity at the outer edge of the platters changes linearly with the radius, so the outer part of the 3.5" platter is spinning 40% faster than the outer part of the 2.5" platter. I'll keep my 3.5" drives for the desktop, thank you!

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