Solid State Hard Drives

The hard drive is the most important aspect to a personal computer. Hard drives hold the operating system like windows, linux, or others. It loads it to the computer’s memory and uses RAM to start up. Drives can also store system configuration files, applications, the operating system and data files. HDD’s use a magnetic drives. SSD’s are not, they do not have moving parts inside. Unlike HDD’s, Solid-state storage technology typically provides faster system performance. Solid State drives are storage device that uses integrated circuits assemblies to store data.

Integrated circuits are also referred as microchips. Integrated circuit is a set of electronic components on a single unit. Solid-State Drives use traditional input/output hard disk drive. Solid-State Drives storage unit are much more expensive than a storage unit of HDD. Solid-state drives are sometimes a smaller size than regular HDD’s. An SSD does not have a mechanical arm to read and write data, it instead relies on a processor called a controller to perform a bunch of operations related to reading and writing data.

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The controller is a very important factor in determining the speed of the SSD, decisions it makes related to how to store, retrieve, cache and clean up data can determine the overall speed of the drive. SSD’s are much faster it almost instantly reads data. Solid-State drives have a longer lifespan than regular hard drives. They significantly use less heat and are very quiet. They are also power efficient and carry more capacity than before. Now most SSD’s use flash memory which retains data without power like CMOS and the CMOS battery.

HDD’s are measured in RPM’s revolutions per second. Unlike HDD SSD is measured in size like megabytes, gigabytes and terabytes. Usually the SSD has the same file systems as HDD. TRIMM command is supported by SSD which helps recycle discarded data. The Solid –State Drives controller chipset keeps track of cell usage and adjusts write and erase calls with a view to spread evenly. It has a life span of 2,000 to 10,000 write and erase cycles. The idea was to have intelligent management of the available memory cells.

This is called wear-leveling and helps recycle data. Creating solid-state drives was difficult to create because most companies did not have enough money to invest for 10 years. An issue that occurred was the mechanics of how data is written and stored. Memory cells were seperated in blocks of 512k. The problem was that data was written by block, even if data was less than 512k. SSD Flash memory is available using NAND technology. NAND components come in densities of 1GB to 64GB per chip.

Flash components have structures called pages and blocks. The flash block is consisted of data interface, I/O controller, control logic, address register, data/cache register, status register, row/column, and the flash array. Since SSD’s involve filling memory blocks with data, when the time comes to put in the memory blocks first they must be erased. You may want to copy data but sometimes redundant data is hidden by the operating system’s file system.

Windows 7 supports the disks command called TRIM. Instead of updating the file system TRIM sends a message to the drive to delete blocks as required. Solid-State Drives were mainly used in aspects of applications where the speed of the storage system needed to be as fast as possible. Now you can benefit from faster system data. Companies use SSD’s for cache for server sides like telecommunication corporations and equity trading companies.

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