SSD (Solid State Drive) by Rachel McLeod-Warrick Edit

What they are and how they work Edit

Solid state drives are storage devices that store data on NAND-based flash memory enabling it to read data directly. They are nonvolatile, which means it can work without power. This is very crucial because other memory components of the computer, such as RAM do not work without power. On a SSD, data can be stored up to 200 years, outliving people. It can be thought as a far more advanced and sophisticated USB drive for comparison. SSD's from the outside appear like a smaller HDD that can slide into the same slot as the HDD in the Motherboard. SSDs aren't traditional hard drives because there are no moving parts. A HDD consists of a spinning disk, which the SSD does not contain. A SSD is an array of semiconductor microchips used for memory, organized as a disk drive using integrated circuits. SSDs have an embedded processor or “brain” called a controller to perform operations such as reading and writing data. The Controller is a crucial component of what makes SSDs so fast. The decisions it makes regarding how to store, cache, clean etc. determine the overall speed of SSDs, the better the controller in the SSD, the faster the SSD will be. The process that has be undergoing for the last 60 years to improve the controller and the SSD to make it faster, smaller and cheaper is discussed below.

History Edit

SSDs began in the early 1950’s when Dataram produced a large, slow, and expensive SSD. It was unpopular because of its high price for low quality. In the 1970’s SSDs began to slowly get smaller and faster, but the price did not go down and it only had a ten year life span. The push for faster and cheaper SSD’s grew and more companies donated resources to it. More models began being released, each evolving from the last. The first primary SSD came in the early 2000s with the rise of netbooks. The SSD could have a permanent fixed position and could replace the hard drive, saving space and time. SSDs have changed widely since their beginning, opposed to HDD’s. This offers a more promising future than HDD’s.

Why are SSDs better? Edit

A HDD consists of different moving parts, a more time consuming process, that SSD's do not undergo. The HDD uses a mechanical arm with a read or write head and reads information from the right location on the storage platter. An analogy for why this process makes HDDs much slower than SSD's is put perfectly by the website “storage"

"Having to walk across the room to retrieve a book to get information or simply magically having that book open in front of you when you need it? That’s how an HDD compares to an SSD; it simply requires more physical labor (mechanical movement) to get information."

What makes SSDs more desirable is because they are faster, quieter, smaller, use less power, admit less heat, and have no vibration. The advantage of HDDs is that they are cheaper and can store more data, but with the downside its workings. A HDD is approximately $0.03 per gigabyte, a SSD is approximately $0.20. HDDs are more widely used because of the larger storage capabilities and cost, but SSDs are mechanically far superior.

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