Solid-state drive

semiconductor-based data storage medium, often used for auxiliary memory to store data

A solid-state drive (SSD) is a data storage device, typically used in a computer. It uses flash memory to store data even after power is turned off. SSDs are designed to access data in the same way as traditional hard disk drives (HDDs). A HDD can usually be directly replaced with an SSD.

A 2.5-inch Serial ATA solid-state drive
Samsung 250GB mSATA SSD with mSATA to USB 3.0 enclosure

The best thing about solid state drives is that they have a much faster read/write speed than hard disk drives.[1] They also have no moving parts, which means they don't make noise or break as easily. However, SSDs are can be more expensive than a hard drive. This also means that for the same price, someone can get much more capacity if they select a HDD instead.

A hybrid drive combines the features of an HDD and an SSD into one unit. It contains a large HDD and a smaller SSD cache to improve performance of frequently accessed files. A hybrid drive can offer almost the same performance as an SSD and it can contain more capacity. The price is also lower than of an SSD. The main market for this drive are the laptop users as these devices can accommodate no more than one drive.[2]

The solid state drive technology is improving quickly and new SSD models are being introduced often. However, they have not gained popularity among many users. We still find that HDDs are still dominating the market. Sales of SSDs are expected to escalate and overturn that of HDDs after 2020. The biggest draw back to SSDs over hard disk drives is that SSDs have a limited amount of read and writes it can take before the sector fails as is not a large issue with traditional hard disk drives. [3]

SSD form factorsEdit

An M.2 (2242) solid-state-drive (SSD) connected into USB 3.0 adapter and connected to computer.

When SSDs were first introduced into the market, manufacturers' made sure that they fit into the slots and bays initially used by the HDDs. As such they had the 3.5 and 2.5 inch form factors. However, as technology advances, more form factors emerged. Smaller form factors that directly interfaces with PCIe and NVMe slots emerged. These included the mSATA, PCIe and M.2, form factors.[4] [5][6]


NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) is a communications interface and driver for PCIe SSDs and NVMe SSDs have higher transfer rates than traditional SATA SSDs up to 32,0000MB/s. Also has a new mechanism called “Submission and Completion Queue” that manages and controls data flow into queues. Like a computer with 6 cores might have 6 queues and are kept in the cores cache. The traditional form factors 2.5 inch and M.2 as well as being able to slot into a PCIe x16 with an expansion card. Also pushing the max capacity of a consumer NVMe SSD to 8TB as of 2022.


  1. "SSD vs HDD". Retrieved 2012-06-14.
  2. writer, Mark Kyrnin Mark Kyrnin is a former Lifewire; Networking, Computer; Hardware, Internet Expert Who Also Specializes in Computer. "Getting the Performance of an SSD with the Capacity of a Hard Drive". Lifewire. Retrieved 2019-11-20.
  3. "HDDs and SSDs: global shipments 2015-2021". Statista. Retrieved 2019-11-20.
  4. "Four common SSD form factors and where they work best". SearchStorage. Retrieved 2019-11-20.
  5. "SSD Form Factors, NAND Flash Technologies and Interfaces". Retrieved 2019-11-20.
  6. "SSD Form Factors, NAND Flash Technologies and Interfaces". Retrieved 2019-11-20.[permanent dead link]