What is a Solid State Drive

What does SDD mean?

SSD stands for “ Solid State Drive ” which in Spanish means solid state drive .

Definition

Solid State Drives (SDD) are a new alternative to traditional hard drives (HDD). Solid state drives have no moving parts, data is stored on microchips. An SSD is a more sophisticated and higher capacity version of USB memory sticks. Most solid-state drives use flash memory, similar to that used in digital camera memory cards and USB drives, and can reach speeds of up to 15,000 rpm.

A typical SSD uses what is called NAND-based flash memory. This is a non-volatile type of memory. Non-volatile means that no information is lost once the computer is turned off. Solid-state drives do not use a mechanical arm to read and write data, instead they have an embedded processor “brain” that calls a controller to perform activities related to reading and writing data. The controller is a very important factor in determining the speed of the SSD and how well it writes, retrieves, caches, and wipes data. Good controller technology is often what distinguishes one SSD from another.

Functionally, an SDD performs the same job as an HDD, but instead of using a magnetic layer on top of the platters, data is stored on interconnected flash memory chips that allow data to be saved even when power is not present. The chips can be permanently installed on the system’s motherboard, on a PCI/PCIe card, or in a box attached to a laptop or desktop hard drive slot. The flash memory chips used by an SSD are much faster and more reliable than the flash memory found in USB drives.

The form factor SSD comes in a standard 1.8″, 2.5″ or 3.5″ size and can be used inside desktop computers. The connector used for those sizes is SATA. There are smaller SSDs that use what is called mini-SATA (mSATA) and fit into a laptop’s mini-PCI Express slot.

Advantages and disadvantages

Since there are no moving parts, Solid State Drives are less vulnerable to shock damage than HDDs. The main disadvantage of SSD solid state drives is that they are much more expensive than traditional hard drives. Despite the cost, SSD solid-state drives are becoming the preferred type of hard drive for laptops because they are less damage-prone and smaller than HDDs. For example, the MacBook Air now comes with a solid-state drive. Solid state drives are more expensive than USB flash drives and HDD hard drives.

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