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Forget Flash: Resistive RAM Crams 1TB Onto Tiny Chip

timothy posted about a year ago | from the promising-promising dept.

Upgrades 287

nk497 writes "Flash memory could soon be a thing of the past, according to U.S. startup Crossbar, which claims it's close to bringing resistive RAM (RRAM) to the market. Crossbar is touting impressive specs for the RRAM technology, promising 20 times the write performance at a fraction of the power consumption and size of the current best-in-class NAND flash modules — and squeezing terabytes of storage capacity onto a single chip the size of a postage stamp. The company also claims its technology can retain data for up to 20 years, compared with the standard one to three years with NAND flash."

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Will we finally get a replacement for hard disks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486373)

I want to get rid of the last moving parts:
* hard disk
* keyboard
* mouse buttons

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44486403)

The first one we already do. SSDs are great.

The latter two, what would you replace them with? A trackpad could work I guess, but I can't see a replacement for a keyboard. Speaking is way slower than typing, typing on a touch screen is an error prone suckfest, and those are pretty much the only options right now.

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44486433)

I don't understand why you would even want to replace them. Mechanical switches are the best thing available in terms of providing input with tactile feedback. The only reason to use anything else is cost or space constraints.

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486473)

Just think of the possibilities!

"Ok Glass, search for some hot sweaty gay porn"

Captcha: approval

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486649)

More like
"Glass, check forecast for rainstorm"
'[OK, searching for cast of gay porn]'

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44487123)

Obligatory cartoon. [penny-arcade.com]

Touch screen fanboys (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44486601)

Mechanical switches are the best thing available in terms of providing input with tactile feedback.

Until the fanboys come out and claim that tactile feedback is overrated, that platformers, fighters, and other video game genres whose control relies on tactile feedback are outdated genres, and that video game developers should just accept this and design their games around the lack of tactile feedback. Every Slashdot discussion of the handheld gaming market seems to bring out fanboys on both sides: fanboys for the mechanical switches in PlayStation Vita or Nintendo 3DS and fanboys for the flat sheet of glass on smartphones.

Re:Touch screen fanboys (4, Interesting)

Zmobie (2478450) | about a year ago | (#44487141)

Interesting this comes up. Over the weekend at Quakecon John Carmack addressed the evolution of controllers and his thoughts on the subject in his keynote. My favorite was when he was mocking Apple having the one button mouse and then one upped that by saying the kinect was "like a 0-button mouse."

My main argument would probably be, when you have a physical key/button with tactile feedback you can much more easily ensure an intentional action on the part of the user. Whereas touchscreens you are much more prone to fat fingering the wrong key (although this happens sometimes on keyboards too to be fair, just not nearly as often in my experience). A promising tech I remember reading about I think on slashdot was the touchscreen that could bend in such a way as to give tactile feedback at any point of the screen for a variety of sizes and shapes. Arguments could still be made to have solid keys/buttons still, but brings the two a little closer together at least.

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44486677)

I am not suggesting you should. I am typing this on a keyboard likely older than many other posters. My company now has IT employees younger than this keyboard.

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (1)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about a year ago | (#44486987)

I feel sorry for people that will never know the joy of typing on an IBM model M mechanical keyboard. Composing anything with that awesome "click click click" just made it seem so much better.

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44487101)

My company just threw out a sh*t load of them (no, I wasn't allowed to take them home). :(

Dictation versus typing (2)

sjbe (173966) | about a year ago | (#44486489)

Speaking is way slower than typing

Dictation can be quicker than typing in the right circumstances. My wife dictates reports all the time for her job precisely because it is quicker and she is a very good typist. Dictation is however a learned skill (like typing) that takes some practice to become proficient. You have to be able to form complete coherent sentences prior to speaking.

Re:Dictation versus typing (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44486541)

I have some trouble believing this. Does she sound like the micromachines guy?

The issue I have with believing this is not the forming complete sentences before speaking, but the simple fact that speech is slow and error prone. Even two humans from the same region will ask each other to repeat things from time to time. That only even works because there is so much error correction going on. With a machine it only gets worse. Then fixing those mistakes is even slower than fixing a typographical one.

Re:Dictation versus typing (1)

Guinness Beaumont (2901413) | about a year ago | (#44486681)

I'll add my voice to the dictation working camp. My new phone has a decent VTT texting feature. Occasionally I will need to repeat myself, but it's miles faster than typing on the whole. Voice recognition is getting to a functional point.

Re:Dictation versus typing (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44486731)

Faster than typing on a phone sure, but how is it faster than typing on a proper keyboard? I cannot speak as quickly as I can type.

Re:Dictation versus typing (1)

DarkVader (121278) | about a year ago | (#44486809)

If that's actually true, you're an extreme outlier. Most people can speak much faster than they can type, and that's true for even very fast typists.

Talking is faster than typing (for most people) (4, Insightful)

sjbe (173966) | about a year ago | (#44486843)

how is it faster than typing on a proper keyboard? I cannot speak as quickly as I can type.

You probably can and do speak significantly quicker than you type unless you have some sort of speak impediment. Most people can comfortably speak at around 150 words per minute which is far faster than most can type. Dictating however does take some practice so you quite likely would be slower at first until you get comfortable dictating.

Yes talking is faster than typing (4, Informative)

sjbe (173966) | about a year ago | (#44486977)

I have some trouble believing this. Does she sound like the micromachines guy?

Listen to physicians dictate some time, particularly pathologists or radiologists who tend to do a lot of it. Yes, they often do speak very quickly - 200+ words per minute is not rare. Once they get good at it, they can easily rattle off a report in far less time than they could possibly type it no matter how quickly they type. Transcriptionists normally have to slow the recording down while typing to get what is being said. It's very easy to talk faster than anyone can type. Takes some practice to do so in a useful manner though. Helps too if there is some consistency in what is being said - like if you have to produce a consistent type of report. Lawyers and doctors very often use dictation systems to good effect and they do it 100% because it saves time, even for good typists.

The issue I have with believing this is not the forming complete sentences before speaking, but the simple fact that speech is slow and error prone.

Not once you are used to dictating. With a proper dictation system you can easily start, stop and record over what you've already done if you make an error. (People make a lot of errors typing too) Typically you get the report sent back to you for review and correction after transcription. However even including review it is still usually faster than typing it yourself.

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486519)

Direct brain interface.

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about a year ago | (#44486581)

Have you had a SSD fail? Not so great

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44486651)

How is that different than any other storage device failing?

This is why backups exist.

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486839)

With (at least in the previous generation) the controller of SSD it is a lot worse.
With harddisks the are first soft faults, later there are hard faults, but often most data can be retrieved from a disk.
With SSD, from one second to the next the whole thing will not work anymore, you can't even read from it anymore, nothing.

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#44486813)

Have you had a SSD fail?

No, I have not. Which is why I think the claim in the summary that NAND flash will fail in "the standard one to three years" is BS.

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year ago | (#44486973)

Not yet, although I've only got a small number of machines with SSDs as yet. Over the last 15 years, however, I have had a lot of hard drives fail, some with no warning at all.

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44487119)

When SSD prices are on par with standard Hard Drives, then you've got something to troll about.

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486441)

I want to get rid of the last moving parts:
* hard disk
* keyboard
* mouse buttons

What about fans?

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486517)

Two words:

Peltier [wikipedia.org] chips [unitednuclear.com] .

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486837)

Unless you have a super huge heatsink or a regular sized one with a fan that Peltier isn't going to do you much good.

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (1)

somersault (912633) | about a year ago | (#44486551)

Does your phone have a fan? How about your tablet? How about Ultrabooks..?

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44486587)

My ultrabook sure does.
Most of them do, just very well hidden. The Macs for example vent right infront of the screen hinge. The Dell ultrabooks vent right out the back.

Chrome for Android misbehaves in low memory (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44486729)

Chrome on my tablet also likes to reload any browser tab that isn't frontmost, causing me to lose scroll position, state of collapsed and expanded divs, and (worst of all) text entered into a form. And sometimes it can't load the page again until I get to the next Wi-Fi hotspot, as it has expired from cache. I've read that Chrome does this because it purges the DOM for all tabs that are not currently visible when Android notifies Chrome of memory pressure. Strangely, Chrome on my netbook, which has about the same amount of RAM and the same kernel (Linux), manages without having to purge pages.

Now how is this related to the fact that my tablet lacks a fan? Some things commonly cooled by a fan are hard disks, RAM, and especially the CPU. Now there are time-memory tradeoffs in keeping a DOM open. The browser could somehow compress the DOM for pages in the background, but it doesn't because that would take more time. It could swap the DOM to storage, but tablets have far smaller storage because far smaller storage runs fanless.

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (0)

TheLink (130905) | about a year ago | (#44486569)

What about fans?

I thank you all!

*bows*.

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year ago | (#44486471)

You MAY be able to convince me that I could use something eventually that replaces what the mouse currently does. However, you will never get rid of the keyboard. I can type faster than I can talk by a multitude, sometimes even faster than I can think

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (2)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#44486573)

You exaggerate. You must think in order to direct your fingers to type the keys that they do... this requires a type of deliberate intent that could, at least in theory, be picked up by devices designed to scan brain activity, and if the issues regarding understanding how the brain waves correspond to what, exactly, is being thought about can ever be worked out, such an apparatus could probably improve your throughput by more than an order of magnitude. The amount of time it takes for signals to reach your fingers from your brain alone is staggeringly slow compared to the speed of electronics.

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486697)

I have fallen asleep during the middle of an online conversation - the results (yes, I kept typing) are truly fascinating, yet will not be revealed here lol

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (1)

gfxguy (98788) | about a year ago | (#44486659)

And speaking an email, text, or slashdot comment is one thing; speaking C++ or formulas in a spreadsheet is something entirely different. Moreover, can you imagine a team of programmers in an open style office all talking code to their computers?

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (5, Funny)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about a year ago | (#44486683)

I can type faster than I can talk by a multitude, sometimes even faster than I can think

A quick look through YouTube's comments section reveals that you're not alone.

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486493)

Remove the user, that's the biggest moving part in a system!

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486533)

* fans, do not forget about fans...

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44486671)

> I want to get rid of the last moving parts

That's what she said!

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#44486691)

You mean a tablet? Cause those are all over the place.

Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486981)

I've seen a keyboard that projects the keys onto your desk so there are no moving parts there.

I want to believe (1)

musmax (1029830) | about a year ago | (#44486385)

I really do.

Re:I want to believe (1)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | about a year ago | (#44486869)

Here is the official release note from Crossbar Inc.
http://www.crossbar-inc.com/events/press-releases/crossbar-emerges-from-stealth-mode.html [crossbar-inc.com]

They have a production sample ready for the SOC integration, that looks all nice, but does the production scale well? Could this actually is be price comparable or cheaper then the NAND flash?

but what about the cloud? (4, Funny)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44486393)

why do i need this if there is the cloud to keep my data? why carry 1TB on my iphone when i can just pay at&t more money for more data to stream my music and netflix?

Re:but what about the cloud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486447)

Because the streaming service providers need to store the data somewhere?

Re:but what about the cloud? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486535)

woosh

Re:but what about the cloud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486595)

woosh

i assume that is the sound of a rainstorm in the cloud with all your data falling out of it?

Re:but what about the cloud? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486727)

woosh

i assume that is the sound of a rainstorm in the cloud with all your data falling out of it?

In the police state of Amerika it sounds more like vrroooomm as it gets sucked thru "KIRBY" or some such NSA codename.

Re:but what about the cloud? (1)

QilessQi (2044624) | about a year ago | (#44486515)

Because you might want to listen to your music -- or watch your favorite movies -- even when you're in locations/situations where you can't easily/cheaply stream your data. Such as on an airplane, or deep inside a building where there's no reception.

This is not to say that the data wouldn't live in the cloud. Think of your portable device as simply containing a cache, which is loaded on demand. The bigger the cache, the better.

Re:but what about the cloud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486625)

WOOOSH

Re:but what about the cloud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486953)

Clearly, the concept of sarcasm is lost on you.

Re:but what about the cloud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486589)

1TB out to be enough for everybody...

Re:but what about the cloud? (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#44486753)

Because technology alternates back and forth on this stuff.
Early Computers did all the work. You had a computer it did all the work for you and only you.
Then we got the mainframe One Big computer with terminals so people use the terminals and the data gets saved on the Mainframe(s).
Then came the PC, we started to move off the mainframe and ran programs directly on our computer again.
Once broad band became cheap enough and popular services began to move to the cloud as on the average your data was safer there, and easier for the company to manage the software.
So with cheap and a lot of data we could go back to more of a Personal computing role again. Probably keeping the strong points from the past and making using computing a little more different.

Say you now have a Netflix app that will in the background download what it expects you to watch. Then if you want to watch it it is available even if it is offline.
Or your system will host an archive of your data in cases your networks speed is too slow or are offline.

Will their be trade offs you bet. But this type of stuff cycles around. CPU+Storage+Networking+Price Fluctuate over time. So the popular solution will change base on the systems strong points.

Desktops for average Joe Web Browser user, is starting to get out of fashion, and going to Phones and Tablets (I am not touting death to any technology here). But to get the optimal conveniences we are trading off Slower CPU, and Storage to get small form factor at a good price. So many apps are popular on the cloud. Because the servers have the Big CPUs and storage and will just send output to the low end Tablets. Now these tablets are getting faster and more storage so people will want to run more apps on them, thus more apps will be created.

Re:but what about the cloud? (1)

DavidHumus (725117) | about a year ago | (#44486857)

You might need it if you use your computer as something other than a toy or care about security or performance.

Re:but what about the cloud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44487127)

Thank you for your loyal subscription. To better enhance your service we are increasing the rate per month from 8.99 to 12.99. This will position us in the future to deliver even more exciting things.

Or ....

Thank you for your loyal years of service with our company. It is with a heavy heart in 3 months we will be shutting our doors. Please use a search engine and fine a service similar to ours. Again thank you for your years of loyalty.

Number of re-writes? (4, Interesting)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | about a year ago | (#44486405)

Do the memory points wear out after a certain number of re-writes?

Re:Number of re-writes? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486899)

If this storage is made with memristors, then the amount of re-writes should be infinite.
In fact it may one day replace main memory (yes, main memory which is persistent). Memristors will also become components which can be used as part of logic circuits in processors. Memristors are also very interesting in Neural nets, which will become much smaller.

Re:Number of re-writes? (5, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#44487107)

Do the memory points wear out after a certain number of re-writes?

Yes, according to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , but new developments have been increasing the material endurance while decreasing the power consumption (less power == less harmful heat).

Amazing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486409)

All he needs is a bunch of venture capital, and 12 to 18 months to make it happen!

Marketing literature is "news" now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486429)

Sorry, but I'd really like some confirmation from someone WITHOUT a financial stake in this before I'm ready to believe this really does cure cancer and save puppies.

I'll belive it when I'm holding it in my hand. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486455)

Promises promises. It took decades for solid state devices to start to eclipse magnetic storage, as it's just starting to do now. Rom. EEPROM. Battery backed SRAM. Linear flash. AND Flash. SLC NAND. MLC NAND. - I've been reading about mram since I was in middle school. There was a Scientific American article about it. - 20 years ago. (Does anyone still read SA anymore? It seems to have gone to crap. I remember reading about the original research in multi layer optical disks that led to DVDs almost a decade before DVD came to market. Nothing like that anymore)

Anyway, I'll believe it when they have a working product. There's been a lot of pretenders claiming they'll overthrow flash in a matter of a few short years, but so far none have been able to scale up to the density/cost/production volume that flash has achieved.

Re:I'll belive it when I'm holding it in my hand. (1)

networkBoy (774728) | about a year ago | (#44486607)

Between Battery Backed SRAM and Linear (NOR) Flash you forgot: Bubble Memory.

Re:I'll belive it when I'm holding it in my hand. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44486687)

Bubble Memory.

Is that the kind that sells address space to bits at sub-prime rates until the whole thing collapses in on itself?

Re:I'll belive it when I'm holding it in my hand. (1)

mlts (1038732) | about a year ago | (#44486721)

It will only hit market when there is some new DRM standard applied to it, similar to SD cards with 20% of their capacity set aside for encrypted stuff.

Re:I'll belive it when I'm holding it in my hand. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486759)

Scientific American sucks now. Try New Scientist.

Re:I'll belive it when I'm holding it in my hand. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486821)

Anyway, I'll believe it when they have a working product. There's been a lot of pretenders claiming they'll overthrow flash in a matter of a few short years, but so far none have been able to scale up to the density/cost/production volume that flash has achieved.

Fair enough except MRAM != RRAM . Flash is bound to die a painful death sooner or later. The sooner it does the better off we all are.

Hype reserved until I can buy it from Amazon (4, Insightful)

Danathar (267989) | about a year ago | (#44486477)

Cool announcement.

But...

Given how often we hear researchers exclaiming they've invented the next "Greatest thing (TM)", I'll reserve judgement until I can purchase what comes out of their research.

I'd bet given the patent landscape at the moment that no matter what they have they will be sued for infringement by somebody. It's the way of things today.

Re:Hype reserved until I can buy it from Amazon (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#44486529)

Don't forget pricing. The technology claims to be implemented using current fab technology. That would help keep the price down. But it's $1000 per 1TB, it might be relegated to enterprise usage initially.

Re: Hype reserved until I can buy it from Amazon (2)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about a year ago | (#44486835)

Maybe, but 1$/GB is nearly as cheap as the cheapest SSDs, and cheaper than many high end SSDs.

Re: Hype reserved until I can buy it from Amazon (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#44487091)

True unless they only offer 1TB sizes or higher. While it is possible to manufacture them in smaller sizes, it may be cost prohibitive/unwieldy to do so at the packaging level.

Conspicuously silent on a major question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486485)

But does it blend?

Re:Conspicuously silent on a major question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486615)

Mram dust! Don't breathe this.

I'm confused (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year ago | (#44486537)

Genuinely: what's this about regular old Flash being unable to store data for more than a year or three? Have I seriously misunderstood or is this a real problem I've been extremely lucky to avoid thus far?

Re:I'm confused (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44486605)

I believe they mean unpowered and on the shelf. That would allow this new stuff to be used in place of backup tapes.

Re:I'm confused (4, Informative)

networkBoy (774728) | about a year ago | (#44486637)

unpowered the flash cells will leak electrons off their floating gates (powered too if the device doesn't do some sort of maintenance cycle). with as few as 100 electrons making the difference on a cell...

Re:I'm confused (4, Insightful)

Alioth (221270) | about a year ago | (#44486737)

But all the flash devices I've used have a retention period of at least 20 years (disclaimer: I'm thinking of flash ROMs and CPLDs and SPI flash for FPGAs, but the way they store bits is the same as a USB flash drive). I've never seen any as short as 1-3 years.

Re:I'm confused (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#44486931)

They are not cheap NAND flash though. That's why they cost so much, relatively speaking. An Atmel Dataflash 1MB chip costs about $1, which is $1000/GB.

Re:I'm confused (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year ago | (#44486781)

OK, to clarify, are we talking about the same technology used for, say, SD Cards? And if so, is there a serious risk that an SD card left in a box or on a shelf for an extended (say, half a decade) period of time will actually lose some or all of its contents?

Re:I'm confused (2)

marcosdumay (620877) | about a year ago | (#44486969)

Yes, and yes. I have no idea if it half a decade, or two decades, but that's the timeframe.

HDs also lose their data, but that takes a lot longer.

But... (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a year ago | (#44486543)

is it agile???

CEO information (3, Informative)

GoNINzo (32266) | about a year ago | (#44486553)

Looks like the CEO has 3 patents, one for portable storage, one for non-volatile memory, and one for a memory controller. http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.htm&r=0&p=1&f=S&l=50&Query=IN%2FMINASSIAN-GEORGE&d=PTXT [uspto.gov] So who knows, could be legit.

the size of a postage stamp (0)

TerraFrost (611855) | about a year ago | (#44486571)

Micro SD cards are already quite a bit smaller than postage stamps lol.

Re:the size of a postage stamp (1)

niftydude (1745144) | about a year ago | (#44486679)

Yeah but you need 16 of the 64GB ones to make 1TB

Re:the size of a postage stamp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44487139)

And this is a whole lot faster than crap slow SD Cards.

Re:the size of a postage stamp (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44486709)

Micro SD cards are already quite a bit smaller than postage stamps lol.

Are there any with a terabyte of storage space?

Re:the size of a postage stamp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486823)

micro sd cards are also not 1tb capacity devices. Largest one I have is 8gb, I'm sure you could get 16, maybe even 32gb into that form factor, but over 1000gb? so how many 32gb micro sds can you fit in the same volume as these new RRAM devices?

Re:the size of a postage stamp (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#44486825)

Can they hold 1TB of data for 20 years without power?

one to three years? (3, Insightful)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about a year ago | (#44486741)

I have SD cards and USB thumb drives far older than 1-3 years and can still read the ancient data that was on them just fine.

Where did this "1-3 years for NAND flash" figure come from? It's a bit concerning.

Re:one to three years? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#44486879)

Some really cheap types of NAND used in SSDs do have that limitation, but the controller just re-writes the data periodically to refresh it. Of course if you leave it on the shelf for 3 years you might be screwed.

In fact HDDs do it too, or at least used to. My old Seagate drives used to periodically start ticking as the drive did a surface scan and read/rewrite cycle, during which bad blocks would also be remapped. All my newer drives are in a NAS now so I wouldn't notice if they still did it.

Re:one to three years? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#44486925)

I think that has to deal with guarantees and mean lifetime. Some HDs have last 20+ years but none of the manufacturers will ever guarantee that. NAND flash will leak over time and 3 years without any power is the max that they can be assured data will be held. Some will last longer but the manufacturers will never guarantee it.

Re:one to three years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486955)

Has it been powered for any of that time? Have you checked it for bit errors? Does it use error correction? How many such flash chips have you checked after that time? Its a probabilistic failure mode for individual bits. Also, flash from 3 years ago generally is bigger and longer lasting that the current stuff.

Re:one to three years? (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year ago | (#44487179)

That's the standard warranty period on SSDs. SSDs often get much more written to them (dozens of gigabytes per day, in some cases), so they can run through their limited endurance much faster, even though they generally use more-durable MLC instead of TLC. With care, they can last much longer, but if you're using them as swap or something, it can run out after a year or two.

Good news everyone! (4, Informative)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about a year ago | (#44486763)

a few notes:
- RRAM (aka ReRAM) is memsistor based RAM
- super simple design
- requires less power (lower voltage too) than FLASH and racetrack memory.
- 10ns switching (faster than DDR some DDR RAM)
- 1 trillion write operations according to US startup Crossbar [semiaccurate.com]
- possibly scaled down to 2nm (when they invent the manufacturing process)

so if this really works out, it may be a replacement for RAM and FLASH memory in lots of stuff. i'm not sure if this includes computers but at the very least, it could be used to retain data on RAM sticks (hopefully directly on them) when you turn off your PC.

RAM data retention (5, Insightful)

swb (14022) | about a year ago | (#44486929)

So not only will they sell new computers without a Windows install disc, they won't even install it on a disk drive, it will be preinstalled in RAM and all you have to do is turn it on.

Although it is kind of an interesting idea to consider a computer where there is no distinction between mass storage and RAM, where RAM is rewritable but permanent.

You could even leave programs in a running state but just stop executing them on the CPU. You could install new software in an already-running and configured state (how's that for a backup?).

big deal, I have unlimited memory (3, Funny)

swschrad (312009) | about a year ago | (#44486769)

write-only memory has an infinite density.

In 15 years. Maybe. (1)

Reliable Windmill (2932227) | about a year ago | (#44486833)

I can't wait until this is available in 15 years or never, whichever is sooner, as is usually the case with all these amazing breakthroughs we read about every day on the Internet.

Pair with SATA Express (NVMe or PCIe) and WHAM! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44486885)

If and when there is an actual product, move over emerging SATA Express and PCIe drives... And yay, I'll now have plenty of storage that's fast enough to capture videos on my future 4K phone. Of course I'll need a new quantum computer so I can manipulate my 4K videos in real time, and render a 2 hour UHD video in under 10 minutes. Ah, pipe dreams... Gotta love them!

Now this (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year ago | (#44486983)

is a technology that makes me think "Where can I get this ?! Now !??! "

At The Limit (2)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about a year ago | (#44487151)

"20 times the write performance"

I wish we could actually use that performance instead of being hamstrung by the limits of SATA 6gb. Even with today's flash memory we have hit the limits of SATA 6gb (around 600MB/sec). Can we please get cheap bootable PCIe x4/x8 cards instead of SATA. And stop making PCIe cards that are nothing more than SATA RAID + SATA SSD's. Design an ASIC that looks like an ATA or SCSI controller and directly talks to the memory and PCIe bus. If a 1 terabyte PCI card which has at least 2GB sec read speed for around $300 came out I would buy it immediately on impulse. I want to jump into a game and not even realize its loading. I want my programs to simply pop up. I want to forget that there is a difference between main memory and storage speeds.

At that point I won't have to worry about space limits on my SSD and eliminate the need for mechanical storage for non critical stuff like multimedia, backups, archives etc. That is how I do it today, one 256GB SSD for just my games, 1TB for boot/programs/VM's etc. I also use a 2TB eSATA drive for extra stuff when I ran out of room on my 1TB (too many experimental VM's). A high capacity SSD would allow me to stop juggling which games I have installed on my SSD. I mainly use steam so its not that big a deal but sucks when you want to dust off a game and wait for it to download.

Maybe in the future AMD or intel can provide Hypertransport or QPI connections to SSD's or like in that article a few months back, put the non-volatile memory on the main memory controller along with RAM. Then we can finally shed the need for mechanical disks.

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