The popularity of low-cost PCs is driving "explosive growth" for SSDs (small capacity solid state drives), Samsung said today as it announced three new models of the device.

SSDs are made from NAND flash memory chips and are used to store software, songs, pictures, documents and other data on computers. The drives hold several advantages over common HDDs (hard disk drives), including being speedier, lighter, quieter and use far less power.

The market for low-density SSDs will grow by 57 percent per year annually until 2011, due mainly to brisk demand for low-cost PCs, Samsung said.

The company said it will start mass producing three new low capacity drives - 8GB, 16GB and 32GB SSDs - next month. The storage drives are each about 30 percent smaller than 2.5in HDDs, a small size normally used in low-cost PCs and netbooks, or mini-laptops.

The new SSDs will also run faster than older generation SSDs made for low-cost PCs, Samsung said, because they include high performance SATA II (serial advanced technology attachment) controller technology inside.

Samsung's latest SSDs can all read data at 90MB per second, while writing at speeds varying from 70MB per second for the 32GB SSD, to 45MB per second for the 16GB SSD and 25MB per second for the 8GB SSD.

These speeds mark an improvement over the company's first SSDs aimed at small devices, which were launched in 2006. Those devices, 32GB and 16GB SSDs, could read at 57MBps and write at 32MBps.