- September 27, 2022
Solid-State Drives (SSDs) are a new generation of computer storage devices. SSDs use flash memory, which is much faster than a mechanical hard drive.
Data was mostly stored on mechanical hard drives for decades. Traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) rely on moving elements to collect data, such as a read/write head that moves back and forth. As a result, hard disk drives are the most likely computer hardware component to fail. A solid-state drive (SSD) is a storage device that allows reading, writing, and storing data permanently without a constant power source.
The new solid-state drives operate in a very different manner. They make use of a NAND flash memory chip, which has no moving parts and provides near-instant access.
An SSD’s memory chips are similar to those found in random access memory (RAM). Files are saved on a grid of NAND flash cells rather than a magnetic platter. Each grid (also called blocks) can store between 256 KB and 4MB. The controller of an SSD has the exact address of the blocks, so that when your PC requests a file it is (almost) instantly available. There’s no waiting for a read/write head to find the information it needs. SSD access times are thus measured in nanoseconds.
An SSD storage device, unlike a hard disk drive, has no moving parts and provides near-instant access. The data is saved in microchips on SSD, which makes it faster. In comparison to HDDs, SSDs are smaller and can be directly installed to the motherboard. It’s a more complex and sophisticated version of a USB memory stick, if you will.
SSDs rely on flash-based memory, with the two most common flash kinds being NOR and NAND. NAND flash memory is used in most SSDs because it is faster for writes and less in size than NOR flash memory. NAND is a type of non-volatile memory that retains data even when the disk is turned off.
While HDDs utilize a mechanical arm to read and write data, SSDs read and write data using a CPU (controller). It is also in charge of data storage, restoration, caching, and cleanup.
The controller determines the SSD’s reading and writing speeds, as well as its overall performance.