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MacBytes
Oct 31, 2007, 04:28 PM
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Category: 3rd Party Hardware
Link: Days may be numbered for flash memory. (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20071031172847)
Description:: The new memory technology, which is known as programmable metallization cell (PMC), has been developed to counteract the physical limits of current memory storage technology. The college claimed that PMC could be a 1,000 times more efficient than existing flash memory and could enable devices like USB drives to greatly increase the memory of digital cameras, MP3 players and laptops.

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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InLikeALion
Oct 31, 2007, 05:13 PM
The prospects seem very interesting indeed. "1000"x better than flash?!! I just wish the article went into more depth about the science behind it. I also think it's great that this tech is coming from a university instead of a corporate R&D firm.

BenRoethig
Oct 31, 2007, 05:38 PM
If this is true, the days of optical/magnetic storage may be numbered as well.

DMann
Oct 31, 2007, 06:13 PM
If this is true, the days of optical/magnetic storage may be numbered as well.
Wonder when this will make it to the prototype stage....

gauchogolfer
Oct 31, 2007, 06:18 PM
Check out some of the potentials for spin-FETs in memory and storage applications. By manipulating spin in addition to charge, quite a bit higher density data can be stored.

Google spintronics.

ShiggyMiyamoto
Oct 31, 2007, 07:23 PM
I wonder if a future iPhone, should Apple decide to continue it, will have this PMC storage.

CalBoy
Oct 31, 2007, 10:49 PM
If this is true, the days of optical/magnetic storage may be numbered as well.

Those days have been numbered for quite some time. One of the key reasons Flash hasn't been used in notebooks up to this point has been cost. With this new technology on the way, Flash prices might drop even further, which might yield the following:

1. Flash becomes cheap and PC makers use it in lieu of the traditional hard drive in most of their notebook models. As a result, the better but more expensive new technology is reserved for phones, cameras, iPods, jump drives, etc.

Or:

2. Flash is unable to compete because the price cannot be lowered and this newer technology competes better in both cost and over function. As a result, iPods, cameras, phones, jump drives, etc, get the technology first, and then it is gradually brought to professional notebooks, and finally to consumer notebooks.

JNB
Oct 31, 2007, 11:06 PM
The prospects seem very interesting indeed. "1000"x better than flash?!! I just wish the article went into more depth about the science behind it. I also think it's great that this tech is coming from a university instead of a corporate R&D firm.

From ASU's Nanoionics site: "The research work will be funded by the grants and contracts of the individual researchers. Larger block grants, including multiple university and industry/consortia-supported efforts coordinated by the Center, will be sought after in the coming years."

Just because a uni's doing the work doesn't mean that it isn't heavily funded and guided by corporate and government (sci/mil) interests. As a matter of fact, it is likely to see a preponderance of its funding from those sources.

University research has the advantage of being less driven by application and more for discovery, but that also means that any applications may be years, decades off, if ever. Corporate R&D has as much emphasis on the "D" as the "R". It's not evil, but it's also not free (and neither is the university's research).

Basically, most major university research anymore derives major funding from the aforementioned sources. They're the ones with the money to pay for the folks in the white coats to go about their business, and to buy the machines that go "ping." It really is a symbiotic relationship.