Like every other technology, solid state drives (SSDs) are
expanding in capabilities as the price drops. Samsung, the top Flash
manufacturer in the world, introduced a 256GB SSD drive at the Samsung Mobile
Solution Forum in Taipei on Monday, with plans for both a 2.5″ and
1.8″ unit by year end.
The 2.5″ drive is the standard size of a laptop hard
disk, while 1.8″ drives are frequently found in ultra-mobile PCs and
The drives are based on Samsung’s multi-level cell (MLC)
technology, which increases storage density through multiple bits per cell.
Early flash drive technology stored one bit of data per cell, but Samsung has
been working on storing two or even three bits per cell, thus adding capacity
to the same amount of flash memory space.
Samsung said the 2.5″ drive will have data read rates
of 200 MB/sec and sequential read rates of 160 MB/sec, much faster than your
traditional platter-based hard drives, and double that of Samsung’s existing
SSD drives, for that matter.
Samsung did not say how much the drives would cost,
but given that a 64GB drive is around $1,000, it won’t be cheap. The company
plans for mass production of the drives by year-end.