Oh right…bollocks. This report seems to be circulating that “Braidwood”, Intel’s inexpensive flash-memory-disk-cache-helper-outer, will somehow negate demand for full-blown SSDs (solid-state drives).

Bollocks. Sure, Braidwood sounds like it might be useful but it’s a wedge. It’s a shim. It’s a little add-on that will offer a nice incremental performance boost for a few dollars.

SSDs, in my opinion, are a sea change that’s waiting to happen. They are about 10x faster than the “spinning rust” that comprises a traditional hard drive. The hard drive is the last bottleneck in the PC, and SSDs will eliminate (again IMHO) about 90% of the occasions that we find ourselves waiting for our computers to do something.

From a market perspective, we are at the point in SSDs where we were with LCDs about 7–8 years ago. They are becoming cost-effective enough that it begins to be justifiable for the enthusiast end of mainstream computer users. (Just try to buy a CRT now…)

I also think IT departments will embrace them en masse when they discover how much of their own time can be saved (think of the amount of time spent recovering failed disks, re-imaging, re-installing…). Two years from now we will be in the middle of a big upgrade cycle, driven in part by SSDs.

So a carry-over technology like Braidwood may ease some pain in the short-term, as SSDs become mainstream. But the mainstreaming will not be interrupted.