This content is part of the Essential Guide: Essential guide to desktop and laptop solid-state drives
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Shrinking SSD die sizes enable high performance in a small format

Independent storage expert Marc Staimer discusses how flash vendors cram more capacity onto smaller chips through the use of shrinking die sizes.

We're seeing very small form factor SSDs for laptops today; how can manufacturers get the capacity necessary in such a small size? Also, when selecting a solid-state drive for a laptop, what are the most important specs to pay attention to?

Higher density NAND chips allow for smaller SSD form factors for laptops (and other applications). For example, there are 1 TB NAND MLC chips available on the market today.

Chips smaller than 30 nm and 20 nm are in production today, and die sizes will continue to shrink. Expect 14 nm die sizes later this year.

Selecting the right drive for a laptop is relatively straightforward. Below are a few important considerations:

  • Is the drive certified with the manufacturer?
  • Does it fit the physical space in the laptop?
  • Is it certified to work with the OS of the laptop?
  • Is it certified to work with that OS' implementation of TRIM?

Editor's note: To read more news and expert advice on laptop SSDs, check out the Endpoint SSD section of the site.

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