Flash is definitely going to be making waves, soon, and we've heard several announcements of solid-state disks making their way to our machines this year. Both SanDisk and Toshiba have been pushing SSD, competing fiercely with each other. Both companies have recently announced the development of a 16Gb 56nm MLC NAND flash, which is the ideal type for usage as a replacement hard drive. Multi-Level-Cell is what will allow flash drives to compete with mechanical disks to begin with, and the move to 56nm will make bring even more speed boosts over older gen flash:
"With commencement of the 56nm technology, SanDisk is rolling out its fifth generation of MLC NAND flash memory," said SanDisk's Dr. Randhir Thakur. "The technology and design advances will help enable SanDisk products to offer approximately twice the improvement in write performance compared to the 70nm generation."
Obviously the faster flash will be pricier, and we've seen tags as high as $600 for the high-capacity drives being released this year. That'll drop, though, and true solid state machines will inch ever closer