June 5, 2007 Gartner projects global consumption of Solid State Drives in consumer and business notebooks to leap from about 4 million units in 2007 to 32 million units in 2008 – SSDs are a technology whose time has come. SSDs we’ve seen until now have been a bit small to replace hard drives, but SanDisk, the folks who gave us the technology in the first place, appear to be reaching the “sweet spot” of memory storage for laptop computers, with the introduction of a 64-gigabyte (GB)1 SSD aimed at both enterprise users and early adopter consumers such as gamers and gizmagers. The little wonder will deliver 2 million hours mean time between failures (MTBF) – that’s approximately six times more than notebook hard disks. With no moving parts, SSDs are much less likely to fail when dropped, they start working almost immediately, offer 100 times faster data access speeds than a conventional hard disk drive and use roughly half the power, significantly extending battery life. Sold yet?
SanDisk SSDs offer a sustained read rate of 67 megabytes (MB) per second and a random read rate of 7,000 inputs/outputs per second (IOPS) for a 512-byte transfer. As a result, notebooks equipped with a 2.5-inch SanDisk SSD can boot Microsoft Windows Vista Enterprise in as little as 30 seconds and access files at an average speed of 0.11 milliseconds. A notebook using a hard disk requires an average 48 seconds to boot and an average 17 milliseconds to access files.
The final clincher for SSDs is their low power consumption. Compared to a typical hard disk drive, which consumes 1.9 watts during active operation, SanDisk SSDs consume 1.0 watt (0.5 watts for 1.8") while active and as little as 0.4 watts (0.2 watts for 1.8") while idle. This difference in power efficiency is particularly important in extending battery life for road warriors, enabling them to remain productive while in transit.
SanDisk 1.8-inch UATA 5000 and 2.5-inch SATA 5000 SSD products, which already are available in a 32GB capacity, are compatible as drop-in replacements for hard disk drives in most mainstream notebook computers.
The company plans to offer 64GB engineering samples in the third quarter, with mass production planned to commence prior to the end of the year.