Flash SSD in 38% of Laptops by 2011

In past blog entries, I’ve talked of the impact of Flash on server-side systems. On the client, flash SSDs can help with at least two different markets paradoxically at different ends of the cost spectrum: 1) economy low cost laptops, and 2) high performance laptops. At the low end, flash can help make less expensive systems in that hard disk drives are mechanical devices with motors and actuators and they have a price floor. Even very small disks need to have a motor and an actuator so getting a HDD for much less than $50 is quite difficult. For very low cost devices with very small storage requirements, a flash SSD can be cheaper than a disk of similar size. And, in addition to being cheaper than HDDs in very small form factors, flash SSDs also consume less power, are more durable, and can operate reliably in broader environmental conditions. Perhaps the prototypical inexpensive laptop is the, One Laptop Per Child project. It uses NAND flash for persistent storage: http://wiki.laptop.org/index.php/Hardware_specification.

On the other end of the spectrum, high-end laptops where performance, light-weight, silence, and long battery life are all important factors, NAND flash SSDs again are becoming common. Many high-end laptops are shipped with flash SSDs rather than depending on a HDD. Some examples: Samsung, Sony Vaio, Dell Lattitude, HP Compaq, Asus, and many others.

Flash SSDs are also emerging as a common choice in ruggedized laptops due to the broad environmental range within which flash SSDs operate reliably. They are also becoming a common choice in Ultra Mobile PCs such as the Samsung Q1.

Flash SSDs are on track to be used in a broad percentage of the laptop market. EE times, for example, estimates that flash SSDs will be the supplied storage media in 38% of laptop market:

The above is from: http://www.eetimes.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=204400359 (Jack Creasey sent the article my way). Looking at specifically corporate laptops, I would expect the penetration to be far higher than 38%.


James Hamilton, Windows Live Platform Services
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