The evolution of digital storage over the past decade has been nothing short of stunning. Solid-state drives (SSDs) are at the center of what can be referred to as an industry-shifting transformation. Once limited to niche applications such as large-scale workstations and high-end gaming machines, SSDs are rapidly displacing hard-disk drives across the entire personal-computing spectrum. In a market seriously challenged by the continued push toward a highly mobile world, the need for greater innovation in PC design has never been more critical, with the industry’s storage response now being led by the minuscule ball-grid-array (BGA) SSD.
Behind the BGA
Designed using the densest three-dimensional (3D) Vertical NAND technology on the market, BGA SSD technology packs NAND flash, DRAM memory, and a controller chip into a package that weighs less than half a penny and is smaller than a postage stamp. Moreover, the performance of this tiny SSD powerhouse is up to 1,500 times that of a typical PC hard-disk drive (HDD).
When SSDs were first introduced to the market about 10 years ago for select ultra-mobile PCs and note PCs, they featured higher performance than HDDs, but at low capacities and relatively high prices. Since then, technological improvements such as 3D NAND and tri-level-cell (TLC) technology together have greatly increased the density of SSDs, sharply reduced their cost, and opened the door for much smaller form factors.