Flash Memory and Apple iPods and Laptops

An increasing number of reports are pointing to Apple using more Flash memory in various components in the near future.

Rumors of all flash iPods and flash-booting laptops have been circulating for months. These rumors are reinforced by predictions that Flash memory prices are expected to tumble this year.

Prices for NAND flash memory chips are projected to crater this year, tumbling by a whopping 65 percent and prompting whispers that this once high-margin technology could soon become a nearly free commodity.

Nearly free may be overstating it, but it appears the market is gaining momentum. SanDisk just introduced a 2.5" 32-gigabyte SATA solid state (Flash) drive for $350, and expects prices to drop as consumer adoption increases.

Advantages for consumers include performance and battery life:

Performance wise, SanDisk's new 2.5-inch SSD can move data to and from the SSD more than 100 times faster than a traditional drive, according to the company. It also will have a sustained read rate of 67 megabytes/sec and a random read rate of 7,000 inputs/outputs per second (IOPS) for a 512-byte transfer