Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Flash in the Pan?

After hearing about flash replacing hard disk drives (HDD) for the better part of the last 15 years, it would appear to be on the cusp of reality for some very specific types of applications. That may be none too soon for the beleaguered flash industry. Several months ago STEC announced a deal with storage subsystem supplier EMC to supply NAND-based solid-state drives (SSD) and there have been a number of high-end notebooks equipped with SSDs as well. But the reality is its still pricey alternative. Unless you need to accelerate I/O rather dramatically, operate in a harsh environment or need to be extremely energy sensitive, it's not fit for most data center applications.

But that's not stopping the march. At the Computex trade show taking place in Taiwan this week there have been a number of announcements including fairly low cost SSDs from Intel targeting what it calls mobile internet devices (MID). Sandisk also announced plans to target this space as well. And today JAVA jumped into the pool announcing that it will be offering SSDs as part of its storage line-up as well.

All of this has to be making the flash manufacturers breathe a sigh of relief. Now they have to hope these devices actually sell.

No comments: