All of the desktop and laptop computers I have used to date rely upon a hard disk drive (HDD), a 50-year-old technology that involves magnetic recording on a spinning platter. A solid state drive (SSD) uses 30-year-old technology that relies on flash memory chips with no moving parts.
While the cost of memory and data storage continues to drop, flash drives of adequate size for laptop computers remain 3 to 30 times more expensive than hard drives above 100 gigabytes (GB), according to Currie Munce, VP, Research & Advanced Technology for a unit of Western Digital. Munce believes that flash memory and HDD magnetic recording are synergistic technologies. Rather than completely replacing hard disk drives, solid state flash memory is driving increased demand for hard disk drives.