We all know that SSD is the future. Mechanical disks still have a long life ahead of them, but eventually the numerous advantages of flash will overtake the disadvantages. One of the biggest hurdles next to price is capacity. It wasn't until just a few months ago that 32GB SSDs were even feasible, and only very recently have we seen them being placed in to laptops. PQI, however, has gone more than a step above. They unveiled this week the largest “mass-produced” SSD, announcing the 256GB “Turbo+” drive. At 256GB, it easily rivals standard desktop hard drives for size, and with an impressive transfer rate of 60MByte/sec it also exceeds them on performance (though no word on its exact performance specifications, such as sustained write speeds).
The very fact they have created such a drive is impressive, though it brings out one of the most glaring issues with flash: Cost. The unit's memory alone, not factoring in the controller and other technology needed, is nearly $2200. A drive that exceeds the value of most computers is not a drive that will sell well, though it is clearly a step towards something greater. PQI is obviously heavily invested into flash, and made a bold statement about how quickly it will be adopted:
“PQI expects SSD to become the hard drive of the future and in 2008, SSD may replace up to 30% of traditional hard drive market."
30% in only a year from now is a huge increase over a technology that was largely unheard of for mass storage just a year ago. The consumer almost always votes with their wallet, however, so clearly PQI expects the cost of flash to drop dramatically. With many other vendors like Seagate also pushing for SSDs, I look forward to what this year and next will bring. You can read the press release at PQI's site or in the comments section.