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Solid state devices to take mobile computing by storm

The IT industry is constantly on the lookout for the next ‘big thing’. Speed, capacity and security are instant attention grabbers, and the smaller the better. IT experts are sticklers for anything original and unique, which makes it somewhat surprising that the current ‘big thing’ involves technology that has been around for decades. Up to now its cost (roughly the same a notebook or laptop) has put it beyond reach of everyday consumers, but recent developments have resulted in a surge in demand. It’s predicted that very shortly solid state drives will have a big impact in computing, especially portable computing.

According to About.com, ‘solid state’ is an electrical term referring to electronic circuitry built out of semiconductors. So, a solid state drive (SSD) is a data storage device that operates with semiconductors, as opposed to the traditional magnetic media of a hard drive. SSD drives are similar to flash memory, as they both use non-volatile memory chips. They differ in that SSD is designed as an internal component that replaces the hard drive, while flash memory is an external memory system.

The biggest advantage that SSDs have over traditional magnetic hard drives is that they don’t have any moving parts. This makes them more robust and better able to handle the various bumps and knocks that accompany the transport of a mobile computer. The lack of moving parts also allows for faster data access. As the drive doesn’t have to waste time moving heads or spinning platters, data can be accessed immediately.

Because SSDs are non-volatile in nature, they use less power than traditional hard drives, which once again points to their effectiveness in portable computers, where power supply is always an issue.

It’s also possible to recover data from damaged or formatted solid state drives. So, in the event of an accidental drop out of a window or submersion in water, important data won’t be lost.

There are some negative aspects to solid state drives, of which one is capacity. As of 2007, they could hold a capacity of only 64GB, as opposed to current hard drives that have a capacity upwards of 200GB. And while the cost has come down significantly, they are still much more expensive than magnetic hard drives.

Vendors are addressing these problems, and developments are underway that will dramatically increase the capacity of SSDs to nearly that of magnetic hard drives. Competition is pushing the price down as more companies climb on the SSD bandwagon, which means that supply is able to keep up with demand, and consumers have the luxury of choice.

They may not be widespread at the moment, but as the next big thing, SSDs look set to take the computing world by storm.

This entry was posted on Friday, July 25th, 2008 at 9:54 am and is filed under data recovery. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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