SanDisk rolls out flash hard drives for laptops

SanDisk wants to replace the hard drive in notebooks with flash memory, a swap that it says will make thin laptops faster and more reliable.

The switch, however, will cost you a few hundred dollars more. Roughly $600 to the cost of a notebook.

SanDisk on Thursday released a 32GB drive for commercial notebooks that stores information on flash memory chips rather than the magnetic platters that make up a traditional hard drive. The drive is available only to manufacturers, and the company declined to give out pricing or identify any notebook makers that will adopt it, but SanDisk said notebooks sporting the drive could come out in the first half of 2007.

SanDisk got the bulk of its expertise in these drives when it acquired Msystems, an Israeli outfit that was an early pioneer in USB flash keys.

News source: CNET

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I thought Samsung announched that by the end of the year we'll see 64/128 GB SSD's... or were it just the voices in my head again?

If they've got 128 GB drives by the end of the year, I think my new notebook will get one.

Samsung is developing a new hybrid drive technology with Microsoft, for use in Vista. They probably won't realease flash-only drives for some time (2 years?).

Have they fixed the problem of these flash hard drives erasing when going through airport security? Until then, I'm definitely not getting this upgrade.

Yeah but you will probably never see that happen. It would take years of constant use. If that's the biggest negative there is (which it is) then I'll take it.

Not sure what the person who posted that battery life would be the main benefit was thinking, but the main benefit to be realized from all of this is speed.

They typical flash based SSD is about 100 times faster on avg. in regards to access time.

Two sources of this info on SSD "solid state disks", one being the press release about this particular sandisk product:

Also the following page had some useful info:

Lots of benefits, speed being the main. No noise and less chance for failure due to no moving parts. Battery life is suppose to be improved as well.

I personally see these as being used in conjunction with a typical HD until the size increases and price subsequently decreases. Personally would love to throw the OS and core apps on their, as well as swap space. I suspect the same benefits can be had that Vista touts with its ReadyBoost and a flash USB drive.

Its been too long in my opinion coming for us to finally start seein SSD's in the consumer market. I only wish they would also announce making these available to the consumer soon and not just OEM's.\

Well like any new hardware, they've got to sell it at a high price to the area that they believe will make the most profit. From the profit, money can be spent on refining the design and thus cheaper and more reliable products can be put on the market for us consumers.

It's a step in the right direction though and hopefully another manufacturer will try to do the same or better, competition grows and hey presto, 160gb SSD chips all round!

its quite a bit faster. there was a report on here a while back about a RAM based card that acts like a HDD. (essentially the same thing as this sandisc drive) and it cold booted into xp in 13 seconds. the little blue bar didnt even make it across once.

would last longer, faster access times, lighter, use less power...

Currently more expensive...if demand increases, prices would drop i guess? Lots of notebooks only have 40gb HDDs anyway...

oh yeah, i expect flash harddrives to be much faster than conventional HardDrives because there are no moving parts, no spinning parts, etc.

more expensive, less GB kinda defeat the purpose but for very slim laptops like IBM thinkpad X series it would be great

There probably wouldn't be a speed increase. If any, the sustained speed will be higher. But the main benefit with these is battery life. I'd guess at least an extra 20-30mins on the battery.

IceBreakerG said,
There probably wouldn't be a speed increase. If any, the sustained speed will be higher. But the main benefit with these is battery life. I'd guess at least an extra 20-30mins on the battery.

... and sapce.