IT ChannelVision Europe: Samsung Poised To Launch New Flash Drives

flash memory

Samsung is slated to release a new 128 Gbyte SSD in the third quarter and a a 256 Gyte SSD in the fourth quarter, said Samsung Director of Memory Marketing Gerd Schauss. Currently the technology superpower is selling 32Gbyte and 64Gbyte SSDs.

Schauss will address several hundred system builders Thursday at the Rome event, which is owned by ChannelWeb parent Everything Channel , a division of United Business Media .

SSDs are a fast growing technology for notebook builders given that the technology dramatically reduces power consumption and virtually assures that notebook users will no longer have to worry about a hard drive failure or loss of data from dropping a system since SSDs do not have the moving parts of a hard drive. Many of the major notebook manufacturers, including Hewlett Packard, Dell, Apple and Lenovo, are already selling SSD systems.

Samsung expects total SSD volumes in notebooks to more than triple to 10 million units this year, up from about 3 million in 2007. That figure will more than double again to an estimated 20 million units in 2008 and soar to 30 million in 2010, said Schauss. The flash memory SSD technology is also being embraced widely by manufacturers of MP3 players and video camcorders.

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Schauss said it is critical that notebook builders use SSD as a critical technology differentiator versus the major players such as Dell.

Although SSDs are still more expensive than hard drives, Samsung estimates that the total cost of ownership is far lower with SSDs. A 2.5 inch SATA-II SSD consumes 1 watt of power compared with 3.86 watts for a 2.5 inch SATA-II hard drive, according to Samsung.

Schauss said the average user will save $178 per year in energy consumption and productivity gains with SSDs. Samsung even has developed a savings calculator at comparing the true costs of a flash memory SSD on a notebook with a hard drive.

The cost savings for flash SSD are even more dramatic for system builders given that a whopping 30 percent of notebook returns are due to hard drive failures, said Schauss.

Schauss said that SSD memory will last 2 million hours compared with 300,000 to 500,000 hours for standard memory.

One big benefit for notebooks running Microsoft's Vista operating system is the faster boot time for SSD versus a hard drive. Schauss said that a Vista notebook with SSD boots up nearly two times faster (36 seconds versus one minute and four seconds on a hard drive).

Solution providers can expect to see dramatic price declines in SSD technology in the coming year given that prices generally are falling about 50 percent a year, said Schauss. Currently 64Gbyte SSD flash memory is selling for from $400 to $500, he said.