Observe the complex birth of an SSD

The solid-state drive, one of the greatest upgrades available for any modern computer, gets the making-of video treatment by one of the largest memory manufacturers in the world.

Micron, one of the largest NAND manufacturers in the world, invested $1.5 billion in research and development to create SSDs. Screenshot by Christopher MacManus/CNET

When I finally upgraded my desktop computer's hard drive to an SSD, I nearly slapped myself for not doing it sooner. There's just something so magical about your computer booting up in less than 10 seconds, or watching games load in a blink of an eye.

Memory makers Crucial and Micron released a video that shows the manufacturing process behind the SSD, and in some ways, the speedy drive represents a work of art.

The montage reveals how a silicon wafer, housed in an ultraclean room fit for Howard Hughes, undergoes a cutting process that produces hundreds of individual flash memory chips. Creating the circuits in the memory requires mind-bending levels of scientific design, as the circuitry paths are 5,000 times narrower than a human hair.

A machine then connects the cut chips to a circuit board with solid gold wire (check out that spool!), and from there the chip undergoes further cutting, protecting, and testing. Not many people get a chance to get a good, solid look at these industrial facilities, which I would essentially label as "geek porn." Enjoy.

 

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