Topic: Solid State Memory
ssd_flash.jpg
Flash memory is a solid state device.

Description: Solid state is a term that refers to an electric circuitry that is built entirely out of semiconductors. The primary storage medium for a solid state drive (SSD) is through semiconductors rather than a magnetic media, such as a hard drive. Solid state drives have many beneficial quailities and advantages over standard hard drives. Solid state storage devices are more reliable because they do not contain moving parts; this eliminates the risk of mechanical failure and reduces mechanical noise. An SSD has less latency and seek time than a standard hard drive, providing faster data access. SSDs also use less energy than standard hard drives.


Energy consumption: Powered down, SSDs consume virtually no juice—somewhere around 0.05 watts. When operational, an SSD draws only 1w or so—about a third of the consumption of a comparable hard drive.


Applications:
  • Hard drives
  • SmartMedia, CompactFlash, and memory sticks
  • Memory cards in video game consoles
  • USB flash drives
  • Laptop PCMCIA memory cards (Type I and Type II)

Currently, the MacBook Air has a $999 upgrade that takes the standard 80GB hard drive and replaces it with a 64GB solid state drive. This essentially makes the lightweight machine more resilient, an important upgrade for anyone planning to travel with a laptop that weighs less than a paperback novel.


Web Resources:


Terminology:

Solid State Memory - Any transistorized, semiconductor, or thin film memory that contains no mechanical parts.
SSD - (Solid State Drive) A data storage device that uses solid state memory to store persistent data.
Flash Drive - A piece of hardware that resembles a hard drive, but uses flash memory instead of platters to store data.
Flash Memory - Non-volatile memory that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed.
Non-Volatile - Refers to a type of chip that does not need power to maintain the information stored on it.


Citation/Refrences:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_drive
http://techreport.com/articles.x/13163
MacWorld
How Flash Memory Works
http://compreviews.about.com/od/storage/a/SSD.htm
http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia_term/0,2542,t=solid+state+memory&i=51728,00.asp
http://www.engadget.com/2007/01/04/sandisk-announces-32gb-ssd-prices-begin-to-fall/


Graphics:
ssd_hd.jpg
SanDisk 32GB SSD