The latest flash drives match the capacity of HDDs, however the prices are still way above most consumer’s budgets.

Is flash set to take over?

Adtron has unveiled its 2.5-inch flash disk products that have storage capacities of 32GB, 96GB and 160GB – equalling the capacities of the most advanced notebook hard disk drives available.

The emergence of these models looks set to lead a string of new solid state drives that the vendors are hoping will claw market share away from the currently dominant hard disk drive format. Advances in NAND technology mean that the performances of these new drives are comparable to that of hard disk drives.

Currently devices like the new Adtron drives are mainly of interest to industrial and military customers. Consumer wise they are still far too expensive to attract anyone but the very early adopters. For example, while prices of the 96GB and 160GB capacity drives remain undisclosed, the 56GB Adtron Flashpak drives retail for around $16,000.

However just as flash SD cards have dropped in price dramatically over the last few years, so too will the price of commercial solid state drives. While the current range of drives aimed at consumers remains at the high end of anyone’s budget (such as PQI’s $1600 32GB IDE drive), more affordable products on the horizon will push price points down – such as Sandisk’s $600 32GB SSD. 

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