Solid state hard drive (SSD) technology guide

A solid state drive is a storage device that uses solid state memory to store data. While technically not a disk, a solid state drive will often be referred to as a solid state disk drive, or a solid state disk, in reference to the fact that, in some ways, it replaces the traditional hard disk drive. Hard disk drives have been a faithful servant to computing for many years. But with heads, platters, magnetic surfaces, spindles and an array of other complex moving parts, they are most certainly fallible. They can be slow, too: disks have to start spinning if they’re not already doing so, then they have to get the head to the correct position on the disk to read or write the data. Add this to the physical problems occurring when a piece of dust or other foreign object gets into the mechanism, or when an impact jolts the drive, and we have a distinctly imperfect system. Solid state drives address many of these timing and structural problems inherent in the hard disk drive. The principle behind solid state drives is that there should be no moving parts: no spinning platters, no moving heads. Data is split into word length pieces and stored in memory. It is then accessed almost instantaneously using unique system-wide addresses. This behaviour has been used in computer RAM for many years, but for a long time it was too expensive for manufacturers to consider using it as persistent storage in sufficient volumes to replace the hard disk drive. Solid state disks use either NAND flash or SDRAM (non-volatile and volatile storage...

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