Some analysts that I've spoken with recently believe that we're at a technology adoption threshold where solid state memory will begin widely supplanting traditional disk storage devices.
Samsung certainly thinks so. At the CIO Forum held in conjunction with Dell three weeks ago, they reinforced their entree into the data center space, showing in particular how SSD can greatly reduce energy use in servers while dramaticaly increasing potential performance.
Samsung has of course made SSDs for mobile devices for a long time, and with their projection that 10 billion mobile devices will be sold globally over the next decade, that's clearly a driving market for them. By the way, Intel projects that there will be over 50 billion internet connected devices in use in that timeframe.
With SSDs now made with 30 nm architecture, Samsung notes an inherent energy efficiency advantage approaching ninety percent compared to disk, with follow on savings from reduced cooling load in a data center environment. As to performance, the input/output rate for SSD is an order of magnitude better than disk, theoretically allowing servers to use their full processing power.
(I'm inclined to think that the later advantage is valuable only for certain users and applications, given that most servers run at ten or fifteen percent utilization in enterprise environments.)
Samsung's presentation at the event was really solid, with a great overview of the energy use issue facing data center operators. This product brochure concisely tells the energy efficiency story on the second and third pages.