Samsung Electronics recently announced a prototype 16GB drive based on flash chips. The South Korean manufacturer, which currently tops the list of flash memory suppliers, has big hopes for future products that will make use of flash chips, including drives that could replace hard drives in laptop computers.

Flash memory has several advantages over hard-disk drive storage: it consumes less power, it has higher resistance to shock, it's more reliable because there are no moving parts, it can read and write data faster, and it's silent in operation. But there's a major hurdle to mass-market adoption: it's much more expensive.
With the continuing fall in prices for flash memory, there's a bigger chance for such products to be made available. According to reports, flash memory prices dropped 40 percent last year alone.