A Solid State Disk, or SSD, is some amount of non-volatile memory designed to mimic the behavior of a normal Hard Disk Drive (HDD).
SSDs are becoming more popular as the underlying technology – flash memory – is becoming both less expensive and more reliable. SSDs are typically significantly faster, particularly when data is being read, than traditional hard disk drives.
Flash memory is used because it’s “non-volatile”, meaning it does not lose what’s stored in it when power is removed, much like a traditional magnetic-material based hard disk.
The flash memory used in SSDs is typically of higher quality and thus longer lifespan than the flash memory used in inexpensive USB thumb drives. While flash memory does wear out the more it’s written to, SSDs are now at a point where the technology lasts long enough in traditional usage to be a suitable replacement for mechanical media.
SSDs not only mimic the behavior of traditional hard disks, but are also typically packaged in physically equivalent forms, so they can be connected in place of traditional disks.« Back to Glossary Index