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Old 05-23-2005, 10:49 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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High-performance flash drive with 176GB

More capacity means more photos, more music, more data, more possibilities. This is the main reason why hard drives including microdrives are usually more popular than standard flash memory. And while hard drives continue to become larger, faster and cheaper, flash storage isn't exactly known to be an happy hour meal.

If money is not an issue for you (trust me it won't come cheap!), and you are still looking for an alternative to hard drives with large capacity, you may want to check out M-Systems' latest offering : The FFD Ultra320 SCSI, a Flash drive with the whooping capacity of 176GB in the size of a regular hard disk (3.5").

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Military and Aerospace integrators can now fulfill their higher capacity requirements by using the new FFD™ Ultra320 SCSI flash disk from M-Systems (Nasdaq: FLSH), a leader in flash-based data storage products. The new product released today is now in mass production with capacities ranging from 1 to 176 gigabytes and SCSI interface speeds of 320 megabytes per second, all within in a standard 3.5" case.
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Old 05-23-2005, 01:00 PM   #2
Pride Of Lions
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Just think, in 10 years we'll be surrounded by all of these technologies and we'll say, "I remember when it was introduced and it cost this much." And the kids will say, "God, you're old." and we'll strangle them in our minds.

It'd be great if the prices comedown and compete with hard drives so that we can get the benefits of hard drive sizes in our laptops, but with the speed of flash drives and the lower battery consumption. Maybe 5 years?
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Old 05-23-2005, 04:04 PM   #3
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Unless they improve some aspects of flash memory, hard drives will still be better for most applications in real computers.

Flash memory can usually only be read/written a certain number of times. While sure, this number is high, if you install Windows (with it's virtual memory on), or a Linux/etc. swap file/partition, expect that portion of the flash drive to not survive all that long.

This has been a minor problem for Zaurus users killing their SD cards if they setup too large a swap file too much. Using a swap file all the time on a Zaurus (which in general uses it often), has killed a SD card in around 6 months.
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Old 05-24-2005, 07:06 AM   #4
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I agree with Chaos. Even with my 1GB SD card I try to minimize write access. I cannot imagine having a flash drive replace my hard disk which is constantly accessed by one or the other process running on my Windows computer.

Still it seems that vendors are looking forward to selling those large capacity flash drives. Samsung also announced flash-based 'disk' for PCs:
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Samsung expects that the SSDs will find a home in specialized portable products such as tablet PCs or laptops, said Suyeon Chae, a spokeswoman at Samsung Electronics in Seoul. Three versions are planned: a 16GB version that will be about the same size as a 2.5-inch hard-disk drive, and 8GB and 4GB versions that will be a similar size to 1.8-inch drives.

The price difference between flash memory and hard-disk storage has been narrowing and continues to do so, said Simon Woo, an analyst at Merrill Lynch & Co. in Seoul. While per-bit prices for the type of memory produced by Samsung are dropping at between 30% and 40% per year, the equivalent price for hard disk storage is falling by about 20% annually, he said.

Eventually, SSDs will be able to compete with hard-disk storage on price, he said, but that's several years away.
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