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Apple looks to SSDs for next year's notebooks

As DailyTech reported earlier this week, companies like Samsung are just now bringing hybrid drives to the market which incorporate traditional spinning discs with 128MB or 256MB of NAND flash memory. However, hybrid hard drive are just a stop-gate measure and many manufacturers (and consumers alike) are looking forward to completely solid-state drives (SSDs) like those from Adtron, SanDisk and Ritek.

SSDs are completely silent, offer greatly increased power efficiency over traditional hard disk drives (HDDs), low response times and in the case of Adtron's latest SSD offerings, quite respectable read/write speeds.

According to Shaw Wu, an analyst for American Technology Research, Apple is looking to introduce subnotebooks next year that will use SSDs. Wu, who had an inside line on Apple's iPhone announcement notes that "The time is right for the flash makers to make a move. Apple, from what we understand, is pretty much ready. The ball is in the flash vendors' court."  

Apple has quite a bit of experience when it comes to flash-based storage. Its iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle both use NAND memory in capacities up to 8GB. Apple's recently announced iPhone also uses NAND memory in capacities of 4GB and 8GB.

Apple subnotebooks, however, would likely require at least 64GB of storage to remain competitive both in terms of storage space and price with HDD-based subnotebooks. Currently 32GB SSDs command roughly a $600 price premium. Given the steady decline in pricing for NAND memory, the premium could be $600 for a 64GB by the time the Apple subnotebooks hit the market.





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