Samsung has big plans for flash-based drives

Samsung is hoping flash-based storage will replace hard-disk drives and is planning a 100GB flash drive in 2 years.

Samsung Electronics hopes that falling prices for flash memory chips will mean solid-state memory can eventually replace hard-disk drives in laptop computers and other devices, according to a top executive said.

The South Korean company recently made its first step towards this goal with the announcement of a prototype 16GB drive based on flash chips. Flash memory has several advantages over hard-disk drive storage: it consumes less power, it has higher resistance to shock, it is more reliable because there are no moving parts, it can read and write data faster, and it is silent in operation. But there is a major hurdle to mass-market adoption: it's much more expensive.

Samsung was betting that price difference would erode if double-digit percentage price drops in the flash memory market continued and so the market for flash-based storage would broaden, president and CEO of Samsung's semiconductor business, Hwang Chang-Gyu, said.

Hwang cited flash memory price drops of about 40 per cent in the last year as evidence that flash was quickly getting much cheaper.

"This will be big once people enjoy how much faster and convenient it is to use solid-state disks rather than hard-disk drives," Hwang said. "We are starting with 16GB and expanding to 100GB in a couple of years."

Samsung hasn't announced the price of the 16GB drive yet, but the target markets for the product - military and industrial computing - are typically willing to pay a premium for technology. The drive is packaged in a case the same size as a 2.5-inch hard-disk drive so it can be used as a direct replacement for these drives. Samsung has also announced 8GB and 4GB versions that will be a similar size to 1.8-inch drives.

The company has good reason to be championing flash memory. It's the world's number one producer of flash chips with revenue more than double that of second-ranked Intel, according to iSuppli. In contrast it ranked fifth in market share in the hard-disk drive market in 2004, according to IDC.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?