Samsung today announced that it will start mass-producing its 1.8-inch 64GB Solid State Drive (SSD). The mini drives will be used in notebook computers and UMPCs.

The new SSDs are the highest capacity drives available today. They will make notebooks faster, more efficient and will boost battery life by up to 20 per cent, Samsung said in a press release .

"We see sharply increasing interest in SSDs among OEMs worldwide amid a growing push to launch premium SSD-based notebooks, particularly in the ultra-mobile category," said Jim Elliott, director of flash marketing at Samsung Semiconductor Inc.

The 64GB SSD consists of 64 8GB single-level cell flash memory chips. The use of 51nm process technology permits fabrication of much smaller components. Each chip has circuitry 1/2500th the width of a human hair.

The announcement means that Samsung is now the largest producer of high-capacity SSDs in the world. It expects sales of SSDs will increase 270 per cent between now and 2010. The largest growth will be in the NAND flash industry, Samsung predicted.