Solid State Drives

A solid-state drive (SSD) is a data storage device that uses solid-state memory to store data in the same way as a traditional hard disk drive. SSDs use microchips to store data instead of magnetised disks and do not contain any moving parts. SSDs use the same interface as hard disk drives, thus easily replacing them in most applications.

Typical applications: Same as hard disk drives. Persistent storage for Operating System.

Advantages: Less susceptible to physical shock, no noise, lower access time and latency than hard disk drives. Not affected by magnets! Lower power consumption and operating temperatures. Significantly lighter which makes them ideal for laptops.

Disadvantages: Currently, storage capacity not as high as for HDDs (but this is likely to change soon). Data cannot be overwritten – existing data must be deleted first. Limited number of writes in lifetime of SDD (unless based on DRAM).

Solid state technology is also used in memory sticks and memory cards (e.g. SD and XD used in cameras). Solid state technology is now employed in many laptops and tablets as well as mobile phones, cameras and other portable devices. Small size, non-volatile memory and reliability are the key features in such devices which need to be portable and also have minimum drain on internal batteries.