Flash is definitely becoming one of the quickest growing markets in high tech devices and is one that many of us look forward to. It's nice to hear that some people, such as research company In-Stat
, are saying that in about 6 years they estimate that 50% of all mobile storage
will be solid-state, a huge move away from the traditional mechanical disks of today. I also expect that hybrid drives will become quite big in the interim, until flash capacity can catch up to magnetic media. As the article brings out, however, the storage needs of many aren't so high that a 120GB disk is needed:
“The HDD industry has done a phenomenal job of driving areal densities; however, it is clear that there are user segments for which drive capacities far exceed the user’s need. When one examines the declining cost trends for Flash, the user's need for storage and the premium that consumers place on the benefits provided by SSDs, it is easy to see that there will be a clear demand for SSDs,” said Frank Dickson, In-Stat analyst.
Their research was apparently gained primarily from the opinion of people using mobile devices. We're already starting to see some hybrid technologies roll out, and even some pure flash-based disks (such as Gigabyte's PCI-attached flash disk). A full-sized laptop HDD with 40 gigs of flash space may not be that far off.