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Samsung fast-tracks 256GB solid-state drives

Plus: 128GB version now in mass production

Samsung has started production of 128GB sold-state hard drives (SSDs) and has announced plans to begin mass producing a 256GB model by the end of 2008. Previously, Samsung was not expected to launch a 256GB SSD until sometime in 2009.

Samsung's 128GB and 64GB SSDs are available in 1.8in and 2.5in versions that can fit a range of devices. Samsung also makes SSDs with capacities of 32GB and 64GB. Pricing for the 128GB drives was not immediately available.

SSDs use flash memory chips to store data, instead of the magnetic platters found in hard-disk drives. Flash memory chips offer several advantages over hard disks; they use less power and, because they have no moving parts, are not prone to mechanical failure. On the other hand, flash chips are more expensive than magnetic platters, which means SSDs cost more than hard disks with a much greater storage capacity.

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