Samsung on Wednesday said it has started mass production of a 128-gigabyte solid-state drive, which is offered as an alternative to more power-hungry hard disk drives.
The SSD is being produced in two sizes, 1.8 inches and 2.5 inches. In addition, Samsung started producing this month a 64GB model of the new SSD.
High-capacity SSDs are meant to satisfy the storage requirements of most business users and PC enthusiasts, the company said in a statement. While hard-disk drives are available in much larger storage capacities, SSDs are more rugged, deliver faster boot and application startup times, and consume less power that HDDs. The Samsung devices use 0.2 watts in standby mode and 0.5 watts in active mode.
While SSDs have their advantages, the components are also considerable more expensive than HDDs. Depending on the storage capacity, they can add several hundred dollars to the price of a notebook.
The new Samsung SSDs have a write speed of 70 megabytes per second and a read speed of 90MB per second. The 128GB SSD lasts about 20 times longer than the typical four- to five-year lifespan of a notebook hard drive, Samsung said.
In addition, the 128GB model features a 3 gigabit-per-second interface and consists of 64 NAND flash memory chips of 16 gigabits each. The chips are enclosed in a brushed metallic casing that is less than 4/10s of an inch thick.
Samsung plans to begin production of a 256GB SSD at the end of this year. The company is aggressively pursuing the SSD market, believing it will increase in terms of unit sales by 800% between now and 2010.
Samsung is not the only semiconductor maker to sell 128GB SSDs. Toshiba makes a similar storage device, which it includes in its lightest notebook, the Portege R500 series. Super Talent in March introduced a 256 GB SSD.