A solid state drive (SSD), also commonly referred to as an electronic disk or a solid-state disk, is a data storage device that uses assemblies of integrated circuit as memory to store the data. Wow! What a mouthful!
In layman terms, an SSD is a type of mass storage device similar to a hard disk drive (HDD). It supports reading and writing data and maintains stored data in a permanent state even without power.
So, what makes SSDs different from any other storage medium such as hard disk drives and floppy disks? Well, solid state drives don’t contain any moving mechanisms. Simple as that.
Whats all the hype behind solid state drives?
So, what’s the big deal? Why use an SSD over an HDD when they’re approximately six to seven times more expensive? Well for starters, SSDs are usually more resistant to physical shock, have lower access time, run silently, and have less dormancy compared with hard disk drives. The solid state drives also offer more steady performance than its storage counterpart.
HDD’s tend to suffer from data fragmentation whereas SSDs do not. How so you ask? SSDs use of integrated circuits as a replacement for spinning platters, so no chance of an accidental skip.
The absence of rapidly spinning magnetic platters gives SSDs an advantage with lesser latency with data access and without the need to defragment the drive.
According to Persistent Market Research, “There is a developing trend in the solid-state drive industry to remove endurance specifications in the data sheets building it extremely complicated for OEMs to precisely estimate an SSD’s life expectancy. In addition, the SSD market is continuously shifting towards consolidation owing to availability of limited market, cost incurred for sales and promotion and high cost of research and development.”
The market for SSDs is actually quite small compared to the overall size of the data storage market itself. Small market window and the exponential cost of having sales staff, make the effort to sell into the same market an uphill climb for the companies.
Benefits of SSD over HDD
However, the many benefits of SSD’s over HDD we previously mentioned are the key drivers for growing demand of SSD’s. even more so, the abundance and increased popularity of Ultrathin and Ultrabook PC and PC tablets drives the SSD market.
The main draw of solid state drives is its low latency; although, it is not obtainable every time. In fact, uniformity of low rate of latency offered by SSD and compatibility issues continue to hinder the growth of the SSD market.
Typical solid-state drive latencies are a couple of hundred microseconds however some operations may be interrupted by internal tasks of device, and its latency can go beyond milliseconds or even seconds. Hard disk drives tend to be much quicker in this aspect.
The SSD market is further divided into drive type and end user industries. Solid-state drive types include single level cell (SLC) and multi-level cell (MLC).
Market end-user industries include banking, finance, defense, data centers/IT and government. Organizations such as equity trading companies, telecommunication companies, and video editing and streaming media firms are expected to benefit immensely from the high data speed offered by SSD’s.
Major Players in the Solid State Drive Industry
Samsung Group, Fusion-io, IBM, LSI Corporation, HGST Inc., OCZ Storage Solutions, SanDisk Corporation, Skyera Inc, Violin Memory Inc., Whiptail, Pure Storage, Inc., Maxta Inc., Nimbus Data Systems, Inc., Micron Technology, Inc., A3CUBE Inc and Intel Corporation among others.