Solid-state drives 'cost effective' in 2009

US analyst predicts that solid-state laptop hard drives will be affordable in two years and take 15 percent of the market by 2011

Solid-state hard drives will become cost-effective for many enterprise users in 2009, a report by a US analyst has suggested.

Jack Gold, proprietor of J Gold Associates, believes that solid-state drives (SSDs) — hard drives based on non-volatile flash memory, rather than moving parts — will have a 15 percent share of the notebook market by 2011. SSDs are a relatively new technology and still command a significant premium over the cost of a traditional hard drive. However, they are faster, of higher capacity, better for battery life and far more resistant to shock than traditional drives.

"By 2009/10, we believe the premium for SSDs will be under $200 (£101) per machine," Gold said. "Given total cost-of-ownership savings of $50 (£25) per machine and the additional potential benefits, we believe many companies will deploy SSDs within this time frame. Therefore, we believe most enterprises should plan on deploying SSDs to their mobile workforce, at least in higher-end machines, in the 2009/10 time frame."

Gold's report also predicts that a decline in the price of SSDs over the next two years will result from the emergence of "many additional suppliers" of the technology.

SSDs are currently supplied by companies such as SanDisk and Samsung, which both have 32GB models. The premium that SSD technology commands is demonstrated by the fact that Samsung's 32GB SDD costs £350, while a standard 100GB hard drive costs just £65.