The 'iPod' Laptop?

Dennis Faas's picture

Every once in a while, things pop up in the news -- you know, techie things -- that makes the old crystal ball start glowing.

Recently, I came across an article in which Samsung announced the development of 16 GB (GigaByte) Flash Chips. Flash chips are persistent memory devices that can take the place of hard drive components. The only limitation, up to now, is that the capacity has been 2 GB or less per chip.

The Apple Nano iPod uses 16 of the 2 GB chips to store the songs and such instead of a mini hard drive like the older and bulkier iPods of the past. You can read the article here.

So, what does all this mean?

Plenty! Samsung went further to say that they are developing a laptop computer that will have no moving parts, other than the keyboard, but will have 40 GB of system storage. Imagine what it would be like to operate your computer without a hard drive! Think about it: you won't have to be worried so much about knocking the laptop around and damaging the hard drive and that, since there are no moving parts inside the machine (other than maybe an optical drive), storing data on the laptop would be significantly more reliable.

Flash Chips weigh *much* less than a hard drive and they take up less space. Translation: faster data acquisition, less energy used (a longer battery life), and more room for other things inside the laptop (or a smaller laptop, altogether).

The pricing for this technology may start out high, but, as with all technology, prices will drop as it becomes mainstream over time.

Some computer vendors have already unveiled their ideas of the future. One was to have a 'component' computer much like the stereo systems of the past. Each major component group would be in a book shaped container and would snap together like Lego blocks. Assembled, the computer would sit on a bookshelf and appear like a set of books.

It certainly will be interesting to see what else technology will bring in the near future!

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