Array-based flash memory could enable 1TB memory chips

The alphabet soup of different flash memory technologies is already a little bewildering, but it looks like the latest entrant could end up being the most promising of all, with single chip storage capacities of 1TB expected within ten years.

It's called array-based memory, the tech has been under development at a company called Nanochip, Inc. for nearly 12 years and it looks like the first working samples will go out next year. Although those first prototypes will have storage roughly equivalent to NAND flash at tens of gigs per circuit, the plan is to rapidly scale up to 100s of gigs and finally to 1TB on a single chip. Because the chips can be manufactured using conventional fabs and aren't subject to the same manufacturing constraints as traditional flash, they may also end up being far cheaper per gigabyte. The company is being funded by a number of prominent tech giants, including Intel, and says the tech can be used to improve everything from USB keys to SSD's to enterprise-grade servers.

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Sarick3896d ago (Edited 3896d ago )

Yesterday I commented about Microsoft's plans for digital distribution. One of my statements included a comment about flash media being to small for hd digital movies. In this statement one of the reasons I assumed music MP3s took off was because you could store an entire music collections on a single usb flash device.

I truly believe this new flash technology would be a way to elevate the popularity of digital distribution. Current technology flash memory is to restrained to store HD movie collections on small flash devices. This IMHO is one reason laser media remains a dominant format.

I believe not having the capacity to store large amounts of HD content on portable flash devices is one of the things holding digital distribution back. Perhaps if we had this capacity the popularity of digital movies would increase as a result just like the music industry today.

Not going into details but the other problem #2 would be bandwidth limitations.

VigorousApathy3896d ago (Edited 3896d ago )

Yep, Microsoft was right, you don't need an HDD or Blu-ray. 10 years from now this may exist, and for only a few thousand. It won't be reliable also, but consumers don't need that either apparently.

travelguy2k3896d ago

Sony will have aready made a butt load on Blue Ray and we will all be ready to mave on.

Sarick3896d ago (Edited 3896d ago )

I've been looking closely at this representation. It appears as though this technology incorporates a moving actuater that internally selects specific chips within the array.

I'm wondering how reliable this technology would be in the field. Today we've got HDD's that have MTBF ratings of 15,000 hours or more. That wasn't always the when HDD technology was first introduced.

I'm also wondering how this would effect performance. All that data with an actuater moving around like a read/write head on a HDD worries me. Take for instance the average file system becomes fragmented relatively fast if you add and remove a lot of files. With this technology fragmented files i'd imagine it'd severely impact performance more then a standard HDD especially, with it being a high capacity memory chip.

@edit it's also well known that flash memory degrades after a about 100k? writes. Would this mean the memory includes backup chips and intelligent write adaptation to increase product life and reliability?