Are we nearing the ceiling of flash media?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by mattwolfmatt, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. mattwolfmatt macrumors 65816

    mattwolfmatt

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #1
    I'm very uneducated on this, so please school me. I've been amazed in recent years that flash media (specially flash USB drives) always seem to be getting larger and larger for cheaper and cheaper. For example, in 2002 I bought a 32MB USB flash drive for $35, I think. Now, I can get 1000 times bigger for $50.

    Is there a limit as to how big this can go? In 10 years will we see a 64TB flash drive for $60? In 20 years will we see a 16PB drive for $75? Good heavens that's a lot of data, but I remember when 1.44 MB on a floppy drive held an entire year's worth of data.

    This is assuming USB will still be around (a big assumption, I know) but I'm just curious.
     
  2. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #2
    I don't know how far we can go (we keep finding ways to bypass what was formerly thought to be the limit), but I do know we still have a long ways to go.
     
  3. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

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    #3
    It depends on the technology of the chips that exist to day. I think that we are quickly approaching the wall on the density reduction that we can get with the flash memories that we have today. Looks like the 64GB devices are using the 43nm process, and two chips at that. This is the same process that the Intel i7's are based on, thus about the best you're going to get.

    BUT that is with the current design of the flash cell. There are around 10 NEW technologies that are being developed to come up with an entirely new flash cell that could push the sizes higher and faster in the next few years.

    We can already store information using just ONE electron! But that is a bit impractical, yet I thought I read that getting it down to 4 to 8 atoms is not that far off! If this is the case, they are talking TB on flash.

    I'm sure that we'll see all the different sizes over time, soon the 64 and 128's will be standard. You can already get drives at 256 and 512GB if you want, but they just use multiple chips. It would be better to get them all down to one chip -- but for internal drives it doesn't matter THAT much.

    I think that once we get to about the 512GB size, things will really slow down, because that really is a heck of a lot of storage. Then we will just use those as our main drives for portable devices and have 10TB at home to back up to. :D
     
  4. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #4
    There are more advanced nonvolatile memory technologies than flash for the future.
     
  5. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

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    Feb 8, 2008
    #5
    Holographic storage promises reading of millions of bits per read. With this kind of system, you could easily take all of your current data off one of these in under a second.;)
     
  6. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #6
    That's optical storage. To replace flash, it would be more things like ferromagnetic RAM or some of the more exotic stuff.
     
  7. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

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    #7
    Hello, Intel, we need a MUCH bigger processor bus, STAT!
    :D
     
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #8
    Intel-Micron's already producing 34nm flash, and Samsung's producing 30nm devices. ;)

    Optical is the future, but we aren't going to see it for awhile. Of the different flash technologies, FeRAM seems the most promising IMO. ;)

    Definitely. :D
     
  9. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

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    #9
    Yes Intel's newer chips, due out anytime now, are going to be 34nm. I didn't see Samsung's website listing their flash as 30nm, just 45. . . or was it toshiba's website?? I forgot which I was reading.
     
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #10
    Both the Intel-Micron (joint venture) 34nm parts and Samsung's 30nm parts are already out. Intel's using those chips in the G2 versions of their SSD's already, and Samsung's are in the ~$2500USD 1TB Colossus units from OCZ.
     
  11. mattwolfmatt thread starter macrumors 65816

    mattwolfmatt

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    Jun 7, 2008
    #11
    Like what?
     
  12. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

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    #12
    Are they actually using that chip or are they just using multiple chips? Even to get to 1TB would require a significant number of chips (I guess that's why the pricetag is so high).
     
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #13
    Multiple chips. Intel-Micron's 34nm process is producing a 32GB chip and Samsung's 30nm is up to a 64GB chip. So 1TB using the 64GB parts only requires 16 of them. Not that many at all. Intel-Micron would require 32 of theirs for the same capacity. (Both parts are MLC NAND).
     
  14. gan6660 macrumors 65816

    gan6660

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    Aug 18, 2008
  15. Hot Snowboarder macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Are we nearing the ceiling of flash media?


    not even close.
     

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