Samsung has started mass producting 256GB solid-state drives (SSDs), which could make their way into laptops in a few months.
SSDs store data on flash memory chips, and consume less power than traditional hard drives which store data on magnetic platters. As they have no moving parts, they're less vulnerable to failure compared to hard drives.
Growing adoption has erased initial concerns about SSD durability, but it has a lesser storage capacity and remains more expensive than hard drives.
The 256GB SSD is the highest-capacity to date for the consumer electronics market so this announcement is big for laptop users, said Gregory Wong, president of analyst firm Forward Insights. Most laptops today that have SSDs have 128GB drives.
The new SSD is available now, a Samsung spokeswoman said. She could not provide pricing information.
It could be about two months until the new SSDs are in laptops, Wong said. Companies that use Samsung SSDs include Apple and Dell.
The new SSD doubles sequential data transfers compared to Samsung's earlier SSDs, the company said. It offers read rates of 220MBps and write rates of 200MBps.
Sequential data transfers occur when PCs are booted or large files are copied, for example, Wong said. However, because most PC tasks are random rather than sequential it makes more sense to use random performance as a measure, Wong said, adding that random performance tends to suffer if the SSD is set up to measure sequential performance.