Flash memory-based solutions are typically packaged in standard disk drive form factors (1.8-, 2.5-, and 3.5-inch), but also in smaller unique and compact layouts made possible by the small size of flash memory.
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SSD technology primarily uses electronic interfaces compatible with traditional block input/output (I/O) hard disk drives (HDDs), which permit simple replacements in common applications.
Additionally, new I/O interfaces, like SATA Express and M.2 have been designed to address specific requirements of the SSD technology. This distinguishes them from traditional electromechanical magnetic disks such as hard disk drives (HDDs) or floppy disks, which contain spinning disks and movable read/write heads., most SSDs use MLC NAND-based flash memory, which is a type of non-volatile memory that retains data when power is lost.
In the late 1970s, General Instruments produced an electrically alterable ROM (EAROM) which operated somewhat like the later NAND flash memory.
Unfortunately, a ten-year life was not achievable and many companies abandoned the technology.
These applications require the exceptional mean time between failures (MTBF) rates that solid-state drives achieve, by virtue of their ability to withstand extreme shock, vibration and temperature ranges.
At Cebit 2009, OCZ Technology demonstrated a 1 terabyte (TB) flash SSD using a PCI Express ×8 interface.
Hybrid drives or solid-state hybrid drives (SSHDs) combine the features of SSDs and HDDs in the same unit, containing a large hard disk drive and an SSD cache to improve performance of frequently accessed data.
but they were seldom used because of their prohibitively high price.
The key components of an SSD are the controller and the memory to store the data.
The primary memory component in an SSD was traditionally DRAM volatile memory, but since 2009 it is more commonly NAND flash non-volatile memory.
When multiple NAND devices operate in parallel inside an SSD, the bandwidth scales, and the high latencies can be hidden, as long as enough outstanding operations are pending and the load is evenly distributed between devices.