Flash memory to rule notebook market by 2009

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Flash memory to rule notebook market by 2009

Flash and hybrid drives to power 60 percent of all notebook sales.

Nearly 60 percent of all the notebooks will be powered by a solid state or a hybrid hard drive that combine flash memory with a traditional hard drive, analyst firm iSuppli predicted in a new study. The remaining 40 percent will be claimed by traditional hard drives.

Notebook buyers will especially fall for hybrid drives. iSupply projects that by the end of 2009 they will make up 54 percent of the ultra mobile segment, and 58 percent of mainstream notebook sales. So-called solid state hard drives that exclusively use Flash memory can expect respective market shares of 28 percent and 25 percent.

Because Flash memory lacks any moving parts, it offers better data retention and power efficiency than traditional memory. The chips also achieve higher data transfer rates.

Flash technology however is more expensive. Dell last month offered solid state memory as an optional feature at a price of US$549. A stand alone 60GB hard drive costs roughly Us$55.

Combining the two technologies on so-called hybrid drives allows users to obtain some of Flash's benefits because it reduces the need for a hard drive to spin. It also reduces the technology's cost.

Flash prices meanwhile are projected to continue dropping. In 2003 Flash memory was about 100 times more expensive than hard drive storage a on per-Gigabyte comparison. iSupply projects that by 2009 the price gap will have shrunk to a factor 14.

Intel earlier this year also www.vnunet.com 1, 2, 4 and 8GB solid state hard drives and promised larger models for the future. Intel targets its solid state hard drives at low cost systems with minimal storage requirements. The chipmaker expects that Flash will be less expensive than hard drive technology in those segments.

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