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2005/07/02 Flash Drives - the future of Mac notebooks?

Appple insider is reporting that Apple may be considering solid state flash drives for future notebooks. Apparently Samsung has already developed a 16GB version of thisand intends to produce a 100GB model soon.

My first reaction was "too slow", but nope, I was wrong: 57MBps reads and 32MBps writes, 15ms seeks. That's not shabby at all. That drive (the 16GB version) is supposed to be available August 2005. Price? No idea right now, but probably in the $1,000.00 range. Power consumption is a twentieth of ordinary drives, which obviously would help laptop battery life. It's lighter (another boon for laptops) and I assume it's dead silent.

The most obvious problem might be how many times you can rewrite these things. An M-Systems flash drive I looked at says it has ">5,000,000 Write/Erase cycles, unlimited Read". I couldn't find specs for the Samsung, but if it's similar, that doesn't seem like enough, does it?



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© Tony Lawrence







Sun Jul 3 04:22:29 2005: 745   BigDumbDinosaur


The most obvious problem might be how many times you can rewrite these things.

Most of the projected write cycle numbers are probably quite optimistic. There's also the matter of the increased error rate with flash memory as it goes through more write cycles. Write errors are invariably fatal, as anyone who has ever experienced a BIOS flash failure will quickly attest.

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