Non mechanical. Solid state refers to electronic circuits composed of transistors, resistors, capacitors and other components, which may be discrete, single devices, or millions of them can be created in a single chip. For example, microprocessors and memories are all solid state. In a solid state device, there is no mechanical action, although an unbelievable amount of electromagnetic action takes place within.|
A computer has solid state and non-solid state parts. The solid state components are the motherboard, chips, screen, camera and optical mouse, while the hard drive, CD/DVD drive, fans, keyboard, microphone, speakers and mechanical mouse are both electronic and mechanical and thus not solid state.
Faster and More Reliable
For data storage, solid state devices are much faster and more reliable than mechanical drives that spin disk platters and tape reels, but they are more expensive. Although solid state costs continually drop, magnetic disks and optical discs also continue to improve their cost/performance ratio. See solid state drive.
The first solid state device was the "cat's whisker" of the 1930s. A whisker-like wire was moved around on a solid crystal in order to detect a radio signal.
The three transistors in this solid state module (top removed) used in IBM's System/360 computers were advanced technology in the mid-1960s. (Image courtesy of International Business Machines Corporation. Unauthorized use not permitted.)