It stands for Solid State Drive, and it’s my guess that this will be the year that it becomes a commonly used term in tech—if not yet a commonly used technology in our computers.
Basically, it means replacing the hard drive in (usually, a notebook) computer with a device which uses flash memory attached to an SATA or IDE interface, and fits in the same form factor as a notebook drive. The main advantages are speed, silence, and minimal power draw. Plus, the drives are nigh-indestructible, providing you don’t dip them in the pool.
Right now, it’s pretty much a boutique technology, but that’s changing awfully fast. A low-end SSD can be cobbled together using a $21.95 Addonics 2.5″ adapter and a couple of CF cards. At the higher end, Toshiba announced an SSD with a whopping 128 GB of capacity, albeit at a yet-to-be-disclosed price, topped by BiTMICRO’s CES announcement of drives of up to 832 GB capacity in the fall. Apple’s also offering a 64 GB SSD drive as a (pricy!) option in its new MacBook Air.