updated 02:50 pm EST, Fri February 22, 2008
Samsung 250GB SSD Hint
Samsung may double the capacity of its Flash SSD solid-state drives twice by the end of 2008, flash memory marketing chief Michael Yang says. The Korean company has already announced a 128GB version that it now expects to ship in the third quarter (a slight delay from its earlier first-half prediction) but now says it may roll out a drive that would top 250GB, roughly quadrupling the 64GB of storage found in SSDs for computers such as the MacBook Air or the imminent Lenovo ThinkPad X300.
The company has not detailed such a drive but would likely to offer a 256GB model (exactly twice the capacity of a 128GB drive) using Multi Level Cell (MLC) storage, which is slower than a Single Level Cell (SLC) drive but stacks multiple bits of data per cell to reduce the overall cost of the disk. Samsung has not said whether it continue to offer drives using Parallel ATA (the format used by the Air) or will switch to making drives with theoretically faster Serial ATA connectors.
Prices are also likely to drop substantially over time regardless of capacity increases, Yang adds. At the moment, his firm predicts price decreases of anywhere between 35 to 45 percent in the cost of an SSD from year-to-year and should eventually bring the prices of flash memory into line with slower but less costly rotating hard disks.
The company is also looking to rework the shape of solid-state drives, which until now have been limited into fixed widths (such as 1.8 or 2.5 inches) to fit into existing notebook and desktop cases. The right designs could allow for even thinner notebooks than available today by spreading the data out over a larger area or fitting into unconventional locations.