It's only a matter of time before the solid-state drive (SSD) becomes capacious enough and cheap enough to completely replace standard spinning hard drives in mobile devices. And the latest development from Samsungrepresents a significant step on the way.

The Korean company has come up with 64GB SSDs in both 1.8-inch and 2.5-inch configurations that are the first in the world to use fast SATA II interfaces for piping data to and from the computer.

Although acronyms never make for terribly exciting reading, the SATA II connection is significant in that it can handle transfers at up to 3Gbit/s, which is twice as fast as SATA I. Coupled with low power consumption - half that of normal laptop hard drives and 10 per cent that of most server drives - the case for Samsung's new drives becomes compelling.

Naturally, the latest SSDs will be expensive when they reach the consumer some time next year. But forecast market growth of 74 per cent compounded annually through 2012 is guaranteed to drive prices down, while capacities will creep upwards over the same period.