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Samsung living large with 32GB drive

As flash drives go, the Samsung 32GB solid state disk (SSD) is huge, bigger than any other flash drive on the market. It has enough capacity for an entry-size laptop drive--enough to hold a dozen iTunes movies.

The SSD drive uses just 5 percent of the electricity needed to power a hard disc drive because it has no moving parts, making it well suited for battery-powered mobile devices. Being motorless, the drive also doesn't generate any noise. It weighs only half as much as a hard drive of comparable size but reads data three times faster and writes data 1.5 times faster.

Samsung announced on Tuesday that it has begun offering this flash-based disk. According to the company, this is the first time that NAND flash will be used in mobile computing applications. Samsung was not specific about which products would contain the new drive.

Samsung sees the overall global SSD market growing from $540 million in 2006 to $4.5 billion by 2010. Pricing for the drive has not been announced.