What is Solid-State Drive (SSD)?

2020-07-31
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Summary: The solid-state drive (SSD) is a solid-state storage media that uses flash memory to store data regularly. Its full name was known as a solid-state disk or solid-state device. Generally, the SSD acts as secondary storage in the computer storage hierarchy. And SSD is made up of two essential parts: NAND flashes memory chips & a flash controller.

Types of SSD

Different shapes and sizes of SSDs can affect the storage capacities, transfer rate, price, and even thermal output. Here list some commonly seen types of SSD:

M.2

The M.2 drive is the smallest design of the SSD with minuscule size. It can take advantage of the SATA or NVMe controller, so speed does vary between two extremes. Because of its broader size, it is typically used in mobile solutions. Besides, M.2 driver can support NVMe, thus boosts its performance.

PCIe

The Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) is mainly applied to graphics cards and add-in cards. However, PCIe SSDs are now available to boost fast data transfers using the additional bandwidth. It is the most expensive form of SSD but offers the best performance.

MLC

Due to higher data density, it has a lower cost. Compared with SLC, it has lower write speeds and P/E cycles, but higher power consumption.

SATA III

SATA III is the latest version of the older connection that supports both HDD and SSD. As its drive-compatible motherboards can work with the new standard, the SATA III has an advantage over the transition from HDD to SSD. Although it’s still the most commonly used modern SSDs, it is by far the slowest version with a 550MBps transfer rate.

NVMe

Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe), the underlying interface, allows most PCIe and M.2 version to transfer data to/from the host system. For the sake of the most capable of storage, it takes into the fastest speeds when connected with either of those physical interfaces.

Advantages & Disadvantages of SSD

  • Easy to carry: With the tiny size and lightweight, the SSD is easily moved partable.
  • Higher speed: Compared to HDDs and even eMMCs, SSDs can write or read data at higher speeds, thus do well in transferring large blocks of data.
  • No moving parts: The entire drive will be unusable if any of the moving parts break. However, the SSDs don’t have such a problem as they don’t have moving parts.
  • Low failure rates: The SSDs have low failure rates because of material improvements and the right path.
  • Size and design: With various shapes and sizes, SSD is more versatile than other types of storage.
  • Longer lifespan: The lifespan of SSD, which is usually measured in the numbers of terabytes, is durable for a decade or more.

SSD VS HDD

Here are the differences between SSD and HDD:

  • Storage capacity: In 2018, SSDs could store up to 100 TB, while HDDs were available up to 16 TB.
  • Noise (acoustic): SSDs have no moving parts so that they are silent, while HDDs have moving parts and make sounds.
  • Lowest operating temperature: SSDs can operate at −55 °C (−67 °F), while most modern HDDs can operate at 0 °C (32 °F).
  • Maximum areal storage density: SSD is 2.8TB/square inch, while HDD is 1.2 TB/square inch.
  • Read/write performance symmetry: SSDs with less cost have lower write speeds than reading But SSDs with higher performance have similar read and write speeds. HDDs generally takes longer for writing than for reading.

In Conclusion

Generally speaking, whether SSDs will replace traditional hard drives is uncertain. Though the price of SSDs is going down, they’re still too expensive to afford for some users. But with many advantages, there are a large group of people choose them, and it will be further improved in the future.

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