SanDisk announced an SSD small enough to mount on printed circuits including the motherboard of your computer. With a little re-engineering, the SanDisk could be the magic device I mapped out many years ago to make your computer super fast without extra work.
The SanDisk announcement is at www.sandisk.com/business-solutions/ssd/sandisk-issd. There are several capacities announced, the speed is only moderate, and there are no prices. The worst part is that the current form factor is horizontal for netbooks, not vertical for motherboards.
SanDisk announced capacities from 4 GB to 64 GB. 4 GB is fine for an MP3/video player. 32 GB can fit the system disk for Windows or Linux. 64 GB will be too expensive because the largest capacity in any range is always sold at a premium price.
The speed is equivalent to current economy SSDs. I suggest two iSSDs in a RAID 1 array for your system disk, giving you an excellent read speed. All your application files should be on your other disks, not your system disks, reducing the random write operations that drag down the speed of SSDs.
Horizontal or vertical
Mobile phones (cell phones) and netbooks are thin and flat. The iSSD is perfect for them. Computer motherboards are always short on horizontal space because of all the controller chips and motherboards always have some vertical space available because they have to fit RAM cards. You want the iSSD mounted vertically the same as RAM cards. The ideal iSSD for computer motherboards would be fitted on a carrier board similar to RAM. The iSSD has 157 pins. DDR2 and DDR3 RAM have 240 contacts. By utilising more modern pin design, you could fit two iSSDs in a slot similar to one DDR3 slot, making motherboard design very easy. You could instantly have two iSSDs in a RAID 5 array as the base of a fast computer.
I propose the new design be named the mDisk for motherboard disk. When I was a kid developing one of my first Z80 based computers back in the 1970s, I drew up designs for an mDisk to speed up a floppy disk based computer by loading the operating system into a RAM disk during the start up process. I built some prototypes using the then available RAM and made some of the prototypes work as a RAM cache instead of a RAM disk. The RAM cache was faster.
When CompactFlash cards first arrived, I designed an mDisk based on a CF card sitting sideways and it was too high to be practical. SD cards arrived next, where the ideal size, and were rapidly gaining in speed, but were too unreliable because the controller chip did not have wear levelling. iSSD could replace that SD approach.
The 157 pins of the iSSD sound like several pins too many, it sounds like the 160 pins of a SATA interface chip with a few pins unused. Some of the SATA controller chip pins are not needed for an mDisk because the mDisk is a dedicated device instead of a generic device. The ideal would be to get an mDisk down to 120 pins so it would fit in half of a DDR3 RAM socket.
The SanDisk iSSD is a good step forward for handheld devices and could be the base for a great new motherboard device for desktop, workstation, and server computers.