Back in March, Samsung announced plans to produce a 64 GB flash-based solid state drive as a drop-in replacement for traditional hard drives in notebooks computers and other system. The company said the drive would ship to system makers in the second quarter of 2007: today, the company made good on that promise, announcing the 1.8-inch 64 GB solid state drive has gone into mass production. According to the company, the move makes Samsung the largest producer of high-capacity SSDs in the world.
Demand for solid-state drives in mobile and portable devices is expected to increase significantly over the next few years, since flash-based drives offer greater reliability, faster startup/wake times, and lower power consumption than traditional hard drives. Portable devices—like camcorders and media players—will also raise demand for solid-state drives, and Samsung expects that over the next three years, 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch SSDs will move into desktop computers. In the meantime, Jim Elliott, Samsung’s director of flash marketing, said, "We see sharply increasing interest in SSDs among OEMs worldwide amid a growing push to launch premium SSD-based notebooks, particularly in the ultra-mobile category."
The 64 GB drives probably won’t be available to consumers anytime soon, but systems makers will probably start offering them as options—or even standard gear—on mobile computing products in the next few months. However, the drives will likely command a premium price for a while, perhaps adding as much as $1,000 to the price of a system.