The market for flash-based solid state disk drives which act as drop-in replacements for traditional hard drives used in mobile and portable devices is heating up: Samsung announced today that it plans to ship a 64 GB solid state drive in the second quarter of this year. The announcement comes on the heels of SanDisk announcing a 32 GB flash drive only a couple weeks ago, and Fujitsu announcing solid state drives as an option in selected LifeBook portable computers.
Not only does Samsung’s new offering increase the capacity available in solid state drives, it increases the performance as well. Samsung claims the respective read and write performance on the drive have been increased by 20 and 60 percent: the 64 GB unit can read 64 MB/S, write 45 MB/s, and consumes just half a Watt when operating (one tenth of a Watt when idle). In comparison, an 80 GB 1.8-inch hard drive reads at 15 MB/s, writes at 7 MB/s, and eats 1.5 Watts either operating or when idle.
Samsung plans to start mass production of the 64 GB solid state drive in the second quarter of 2007, although the company didn’t release any estimates on the unit’s price to OEMs or consumers.