IT Dojo pop quiz answers: Solid-state drives

True or False: Like conventional hard drives, solid-state drives are electromechanical devices.

As of grading time, nearly 500 people had taken our solid-state drives quiz. If you haven't had a chance to take the quiz, I encourage you to try your luck, before reading the answers below. Now, on to the answers!

The correct answer is: False and 88 percent of those who answered the question got it right. The term "electromechanical" refers to devices that use both electrical and mechanical parts. Unlike traditional hard drives, which contain spinning platters and a movable actuator arm, solid-state drives contain no moving "parts".

In this quiz's discussion thread, TechRepublic member Dr Dij argued that solid-state drives actually do have moving parts, but "not in the convention sense." According to Dr. Dij, "the doping atoms in transistor junctions are subject to atomic migration." While it's true that the integrated circuits within solid-state drives are effected by atomic migration--the movement of atoms from their original position due to the flow of electrical current (electromigration) or the existence of temperature gradients (thermomigration). I think it's safe to assume that most individuals who took this quiz correctly interpreted my use of the term "parts" to exclude atoms.

By Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the ...