Last week, I took a look at the key trends coming up on the horizon for flash memory. This week, I’m taking a look back at the history of SSDs…
With the storage industry’s attention shifting from traditional hard drives to solid-state storage devices in recent years, it is easy to forget SSD technology has been in the making for more than five decades. Origins can be traced back to the 1950s when solid-state memory used to be handmade. The first real solid-state drive was developed in 1978 by StorageTek with a price of $8,800/MB and a maximum storage capacity of 90 MB. It wasn’t until the invention of flash memory by Dr. Fujio Masouka in 1980 that solid-state memory began to break out of the niche market it was in. Both NAND, an ideal solution for high-capacity data storage, and NOR, used to store and run small amounts of code, were invented by Dr. Masouka. An interesting side note: The company Dr. Masouka worked for at the time, Toshiba, announced NAND flash in 1987, and Intel was close behind with the announcement of the first production NOR chip in 1988.
It wasn’t until 1995 that M-Systems introduced the first flash-based solid-state drives. We’re proud to say SMART Storage Systems’ Esther Spanjer, Director, SSD Technical Marketing, joined M-Systems in 1997, and was part of bringing that first generation of SSDs to the market! Although these flash-based solid-state drives were not as fast as DRAM-based devices, they did not need power to maintain data in their memory, which made them an ideal fit for the military and aerospace sectors. With this, a quicker ascension to the modern SSD was set in motion.
Throughout the years, many companies have shown dedication to improving solid-state storage, evolving the technology to what it is today. SMART Storage Systems is proud to be a leader in the research, design, and development of enterprise SSDs. We will continue to keep pushing the envelope in order to meet the needs of enterprise organizations and keep the passion of SSDs thriving.
- John Scaramuzzo, President, SMART Storage Systems