updated 11:20 am EST, Thu January 4, 2007
SanDisk 32GB Flash Drive
SanDisk on Thursday said that its new solid state drive, the SanDisk SSD, is the first flash storage device to bridge the gap between capacious hard disks and fast but typically expensive flash memory. Holding 32GB of data, the 1.8-inch wide SSD is a drop-in replacement for the hard drive of most any notebook. In current form, the drive connects to any standard Ultra ATA port, a rarity for the often proprietary nature of solid state disks. The use of flash brings with it more than just an absence of failure-prone moving parts, SanDisk says: the lack of spool-up time allows the SSD to operate much more quickly than a hard drive, reading data as quickly as 62MB/sec. This is nearly 100 times faster than the hard drives typically found in notebooks, the company boasts.
Scheduled to debut at CES next week, SanDisk's flash storage will be ready immediately for larger system builders and should add $600 to the cost of a given system. While expensive compared to hard disks, the price is said to compare very favorably to earlier attempts at using solid state disks in mainstream notebooks by Fujitsu and Samsung, whose prices soared by as much as $1,400 compared to conventional models.