The digital video revolution feeds the results of some companies not named Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) or SeaChange (NASDAQ:SEAC), including some niches you might not expect.

For example, memory specialist SMART Modular Technologies (NASDAQ:SMOD) just reported a whiz-bang quarter, and CEO Iain McKenzie held up a line of flash-based long-term storage devices as a shining example of what went right. The XceedUltra solid-state flash drive is a drop-in alternative to traditional disk drives. It draws very little power and beats the pants off spinning magnetic platters in nearly every performance benchmark imaginable.

McKenzie noted that this product is meeting with high demand from "data-intensive storage applications" such as online transaction processing, search technologies, and streaming video-on-demand (VOD) services. VOD is still in its infancy, though I've noted on several occasions how this customer-friendly technology promises to reshape our entertainment consumption habits to an even greater degree than TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO) and the many knock-off digital video recorders.

A properly designed VOD service requires ultra-fast storage, and lots of it. That's where SMART comes in. The XceedUltra isn't the first flash-memory-based drive on the market, nor is it the largest-capacity solution. The SMART drive currently tops out at 20 GB, while SanDisk (NASDAQ:SNDK) sells a 32 GB solid-state disk, Fujitsu can ship you a notebook computer with up to 32 GB of next-generation storage, and Samsung just launched a 64 GB version. According to the published spec sheets, SMART's drive is much faster than any of the other products, though.

Solid-state disks are still very expensive. Fujitsu's 16 GB disk adds $700 to the price of a system, and the larger disk costs $1,300. Drumming up customer demand at those price points is an impressive feat, though the sales team's job should get easier over time.

Like every other new technology, flash disks will get cheaper and better very quickly, which comes in handy when the VOD market matures a bit. Samsung estimates that 2.2 million solid-state disks were sold last year, bringing in $56 million in revenues industry-wide. The company expects to see those numbers skyrocket to $218 million this year and $6.8 billion in 2010.

As I said, this storage revolution starts in the data center, but it will eventually trickle down to your personal computer and so on. SMART looks poised for some explosive growth here, if Samsung's estimates are anywhere near reality.

Further Foolishness:

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Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure is always in demand and on-demand.

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