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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.

Christopher MacManus
Crave contributor Christopher MacManus regularly spends his time exploring the latest in science, gaming, and geek culture -- aiming to provide a fun and informative look at some of the most marvelous subjects from around the world.
Christopher MacManus
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.