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Microsoft & Samsung speed up SSDs on Vista

Partners optimise Windows for solid-state disks

Samsung will release 128GB SSDs in the third quarter, and by the end of the year it will put 256GB SSDs into production, Wang said. The density of SSDs are doubling every 12 months, Wang said. That means a 512GB SSD could be coming soon, although Wang neither confirmed nor denied it.

"It is a matter of cost, demand and requirement," Wang said.

Samsung is also working to reduce power consumption and developing controller algorithms to boost the longevity of SSDs, Wang said.

Despite the continuous improvements, price-per-gigabyte could continue to be an issue when comparing SSDs to hard drives, Forward Insight's Wong said.

"The cost per gigabyte of a 2.5in SSD is something like five times that of a hard disk drive," Wong said. The price difference mainly applies to the consumer space, where PC makers like Apple, Dell and HP offer SSDs in laptops.

Samsung's Wang said the company is working with PC makers to develop SSD form factors that could fit into different laptop models.

In the server space, customers may bypass price for performance, said Michael Cornwell, lead technologist for flash memory at Sun in a recent interview. Server-grade SSDs usually perform better in certain environments like Web 2.0, where they are comparatively faster and more power efficient than hard drives.

Web 2.0 applications could drive the adoption of SSDs in the enterprise, Cornwell said. Delivery of distributed Web 2.0 applications - like cached photo content - may be delivered quicker from SSD nodes than hard drives, Cornwell said.

Many server vendors have announced plans to include server-grade SSDs in systems, including HP. Samsung is working with PC makers and server vendors on the implementation of SSDs, Wang said.

"Most of these data centres, when they employ a new technology, it takes a long time to... qualify and evaluate," Wang said.


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