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Memory Wars May Herald Mobile Devices With Terabytes of Capacity

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the good-news-for-abandoning-cloud-storage dept.

Handhelds 147

Lucas123 writes "With 3D NAND flash going into high production and one startup demonstrating a resistive NAND (RRAM) flash array, it may not be long before mobile devices have hundreds of gigabytes of capacity, even a terabyte, with performance only limited by the bus. Samsung announced it is now mass producing three-dimensional (3D) Vertical NAND (V-NAND) chips, and start-up Crossbar said it has created a prototype of its RRAM chip. Both technologies offer many times what current NAND flash chips offer today in capacity and performance. Which technology will prevail is still up in the air, and experts believe it will be years before RRAM can challenge NAND, but it's almost inevitable that RRAM will overtake NAND as even 3D NAND heads for an inevitable dead end. Others believe 3D NAND, currently at 24 layers, could reach more than 100, giving it a lifespan of five or more years."

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Gimme Memory Doubler! (4, Funny)

NeoStrider69 (2777567) | about a year ago | (#44521625)

Fire it up Jonny

Positive comment! (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#44521951)

Making a positive comment to influence the remainder of the conversation to be less troll ish and more constructive. Yay! It is a nice day today. I heart my gf. I hope everybody wins the memory wars!

Re:Gimme Memory Doubler! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44522329)

Just in case you didn't get the reference [youtube.com] .

Re:Gimme Memory Doubler! (2)

BaronAaron (658646) | about a year ago | (#44522641)

I'm pretty sure the OP was a reference to Johnny Mnemonic [imdb.com] and not Go Bots ....

Re:Gimme Memory Doubler! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44522619)

Actually for those who missed the reference...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0Ak4N36CMo

No need for a terabyte (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44521629)

640 GB should be enough for anybody.

Re:No need for a terabyte (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44521823)

640 GB should be enough for anybody.

650 TB should be enough for anybody.

looka my lolcats in 3D video

Re:No need for a terabyte (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44521915)

WOOOOOSH!!!

Re:No need for a terabyte (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44521925)

looka my lolcats in 3D video

For the love of Ceiling Cat, provide a link!

Re:No need for a terabyte (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#44523705)

660 Exabytes wont even hold my midget porn collection.

Re:No need for a terabyte (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44521879)

Linux can still boot up on a 1.44 MB floppy!

Re:No need for a terabyte (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44521899)

Linux can still boot up on a 1.44 MB floppy!

Shhh. Don't be telling people they can run an operating system in less than 2 GB.

Also... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44522263)

Good luck actually fitting a kernel with your 'minimum hardware support' into that 1.44 meg floppy anymore. There might still be some legacy x86 platforms that you could, but nowadays a bare kernel seems to be at least 1 meg, and if you even just add in a KMS driver for one video card model it'll probably tip the scales out.

Re:No need for a terabyte (4, Interesting)

Miamicanes (730264) | about a year ago | (#44522631)

Yeah... if you're lucky, and the BIOS can limp on the network enough to grab an IP address and do TFTP, you might even be able to use that floppy to bootstrap the rest of the Linux boot process.

Boot Linux from a floppy in any context meaningfully resembling a general-purpose operating system that can do at least as much as MS/DOS 5? No. Sorry, you can't.

For one thing, every Linux kernel since sometime around 2.6 has used fbdev instead of MDA/CGA/EGA/VGA textmode. I'm pretty sure fbdev ALONE needs more than a meg, especially when you add in the font definitions. So at best, you'd be limited to interacting with a remote serial terminal.

Networking? Forget it. Without tiptoeing into BIOS-land (if not outright UEFI-land), even getting TFTP to work enough to fetch chunks of raw data from the local network to continue booting from would be a major challenge.

Even during the golden era of DOS and hand-crafted assembly language apps, you'd have been spectacularly lucky to get something like a cut-down copy of WordPerfect 4.2 onto a floppy capable of booting DOS. Procomm+ fit onto bootable disks, but even THAT was kind of a battle.

The fact is, if you try to cut Linux down to something that can fully boot and run from a single floppy disc, you're going to be left with something that's basically DOS 6 + DOS4GW capability-wise. And you'll spend so much time trying to build it, you'd almost be better off just using the kernel as an inspirational starting point and writing your own OS from scratch. The harsh truth is, the need for networking and UTF-8 killed sub-megabyte kernels. RIP. You just can't do one, let alone both, and end up with less than 1.5 megs of binary boot data on an x86-architecture PC without relying on BIOS support, and even that's iffy.

Even worse, such an exercise is utterly and completely pointless when you consider that you can buy a brand new 4GB SD card for $5 and get change back, and could probably buy a Ziploc bag full of 256mb SD cards at a hamfest for a buck. Thanks to MMC mode's SPI interface, SD cards are dead easy to read and write (as long as you don't have to implement a filesystem anything ELSE can read or recognize).

Re:No need for a terabyte (2)

msobkow (48369) | about a year ago | (#44523479)

More to the point: When have you last seen a new machine with a floppy drive?

When was the last time you saw floppies for sale at a shop?

When was the last time you dusted off a floppy you own and inserted it in your machine?

I have a floppy drive. I installed it so I could do BIOS updates 10 years ago. It's never seen a disk.

Re:No need for a terabyte (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44523233)

Linux can still boot up on a 1.44 MB floppy!

Shhh. Don't be telling people they can run an operating system in less than 2 GB.

The hell with running an operating system in less than 2GB. Where can you find a computer that still has a floppy drive?

Re:No need for a terabyte (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44522423)

QNX could boot from a single floppy too, with graphical interface, web browser and various applications.

Re:No need for a terabyte (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#44522801)

Just as long as you compile your kernel the right way.

Re:No need for a terabyte (1)

jools33 (252092) | about a year ago | (#44522871)

Thats nice cos right now Samsung refuses to sell any galaxy S4's with more than 16GB in Europe from what I can see. The cynic in me thinks this is because if they can sell you a phone with less memory then you will be looking to upgrade it sooner. My Galaxy S2 also has 16GB - and I've run out of app space on that so as soon as I upgrade I'll be close to running out of app space on a new S4 too.

What would they store? (1, Interesting)

barlevg (2111272) | about a year ago | (#44521657)

It would be one thing if Netflix and other streaming sites allowed offline viewing (use similar drm to how Google does it with Google Music and Youtube), but as it stands, no one really needs more than 16GB--enough to store a metric ton of photos and cell-phone-camera-quality video.

Re:What would they store? (5, Insightful)

donut1005 (982510) | about a year ago | (#44521713)

I need more. Between videos, pictures, music and podcasts I am regularly looking for things to offload to my computer. Never assume enough is enough.

Re:What would they store? (2)

Suki I (1546431) | about a year ago | (#44521891)

Mega dittos! More RAM is never enough.

Re:What would they store? (1)

everydayotherday (1291642) | about a year ago | (#44521903)

Shouldn't you be offloading anyway? A mobile device is more likely to break, get lost, or get stolen. Wouldn't more storage mean more data to lose?

Re:What would they store? (1)

Suki I (1546431) | about a year ago | (#44522045)

Not if it is backed up somewhere else. Like your Google drive, or something bigger.

Re:What would they store? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44523293)

Not if it is backed up somewhere else. Like your Google drive, or something bigger.

See that's what this is really about. Monetizing the online storage end of it. From the article, these huge 3D drives will have a useful life upto 5 years. Since you don't know exactly when in the 5 year period they will crap out, you better have all your stuff backed up somewhere. How much will Google or Dropbox or even Samsung charge your for a TB of storage? And what will your ISP charge you to transfer that much data? I'm pretty sure Sprint's unlimited plan won't cover TB transfers.

While I see some great uses for such storage, carrying it around in my phone isn't necessarily one of them.

Re:What would they store? (1)

mindwhip (894744) | about a year ago | (#44522775)

Offloading doesn't give me instant access to my entire data collection on the go in poor 3G signal areas...
(granted I only need about 300 GB for that including all the family videos and photos of weddings and Christmases and stuff... hand have a portable hard drive to move stuff when I need to but its increasing every year and a hard drive is one extra thing to carry about...)

Just because I can carry all that data with me doesn't mean its the only copy of that data...

The hard bit these days is naming and indexing and finding the files I want when I want them.

Re:What would they store? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44521719)

No netflix over here, we will gladly accept our pentabyte storage devices.

Re:What would they store? (5, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | about a year ago | (#44521753)

You forgot offline music. Until network coverage is perfect, and data is almost free, offline playlists are one of the most basic things you need on a mobile device..

Re:What would they store? (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#44522543)

Yes, but music is almost insignificant in size. For $22 you get a brand-name 32 GB MicroSD card that can hold about 100 hours of FLAC or 500 hours of mp3 - call it 5000 songs or 500 albums.

Music is not going to drive 100GB+ mobile capacity, let alone terabytes.

Re:What would they store? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44522711)

Do you know how large a music library can be? Does a consumer really want to manage specific songs from that library to hold on a mobile device? (No) Do you realize that videos are fairly large files and if size permitted people would carry full movies, TV shows, etc for viewing. People don't want to switch memory cards and keep track of which songs, files, pictures, etc that are on each one. Are you really going to walk out of the house each day with a hand full of SD cards to break, lose, and manage or would you like one storage device.

Storage always sounds like enough until you have it. Once you have it you use it. The 16GB my phone can hold has been full since the day I got it 2.5 years ago. Over that time I could have easily accumulated more than a TB of additional *stuff* if I wasn't being constrained.

Re:What would they store? (1)

ichthyoboy (1167379) | about a year ago | (#44522903)

Except that the trend in most mobile phones is to remove MicroSD slots...

Re:What would they store? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44522563)

Not at all. I've not used that for at least three years - I just don't listen to music while moving around. (It is clearly a common usecase, it just isn't something everybody needs. Free nitpicking from user id 666.)

Re:What would they store? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44521805)

I know that if I had a terabyte or more of storage on my phone, tablet, or (God forbid) next generation iPod Classic, I'd be able to have all of my music on one easy to transport device in lossless FLAC (as it's currently archived on my main system.)

Heck, 2TBs would suit me since I would take at least a decade to fill up the rest of it at my current rate of CD purchases.

-rs

Re:What would they store? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44522055)

And yet you'll still be listening to it via a shitty DAC that makes it sound like it was encoded at 96kbps.

Re: What would they store? (2)

Stashiv (2042490) | about a year ago | (#44521887)

I don't think you've done much video recording on a smartphone lately

Re: What would they store? (1)

barlevg (2111272) | about a year ago | (#44521979)

Sorry, I think you're just catching my bias against cell phone video.

Re:What would they store? (3, Informative)

afidel (530433) | about a year ago | (#44521913)

LULZ, I've got a 32GB with 4GB free, my music collection alone almost fills it, not to mention photos, video, and podcasts. At the rate I've been buying music my collection will fill the 32GB card by the end of the year (gotta love $5 albums from Amazon).

Re:What would they store? (5, Funny)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#44521959)

It would be one thing if Netflix and other streaming sites allowed offline viewing

That's OK. I gather there's a Swedish video rental site which provides an excellent service. Great download speeds, especially for popular stuff, available in a variety of formats. They also have this excellent feature that allows you to view off line, copy to any device of your choice and even transcode the format and resolution if you have the right tools installed of which there is a wide variety of Free, free and commercial ones for either your phone or PC.

You should try it.

It's very easy to use, except that whenever I try to put my credit card in, it always takes me to a site where impossibly proportioned women want to date my testicles. I guess they still have a few wrinkles to work out but otherwise the UI is excellent.

Re:What would they store? (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#44521967)

Metric ton -> Boolean ton! 1024 kgs.

Re:What would they store? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44522255)

I think it's 1024 kibigrams per mibigram now.

Re:What would they store? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | about a year ago | (#44522017)

What about ripping videos and storing those? Or games? Lots of audio (seriously, 16gb isn't *that* much, especially if you do higher than 192kbit ripping), lots of pictures which keep getting bigger, lots of video which keeps getting better quality...

Re:What would they store? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44523377)

What about ripping videos and storing those? Or games? Lots of audio (seriously, 16gb isn't *that* much, especially if you do higher than 192kbit ripping), lots of pictures which keep getting bigger, lots of video which keeps getting better quality...

We're talking about a cell phone, right? Sure you can do all of that on a phone, but really, why? A casual user isn't going to need hundreds of GB of storage to do that and a serious and professional user is going to need tools that a phone can't provide.

Phones, like tablets are really about consuming data, not creating it. Sure you can take photos and video clips with one, but even most low end digital cameras will give better quality images. In the end, if you are a content creator, you will use the best tools for creating content and a phone, designed for the consumer market with the purpose of consuming content is unlikely to be that tool.

Re:What would they store? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#44522023)

640k should be enough for anybody! Hell, I remember getting a megabyte seemed to be overkill. Just ten years ago I wouldn't have believed that a gigabyte wouldn't be enough to run Windows well.

I'd say something about my lawn, but I really don't care about my damned lawn.

Re:What would they store? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44522047)

I have a 64gb iPod, and it is full. I would *love* a 1TB iPod (and would pay for one!). So -- speak for yourself.

Re:What would they store? (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44522149)

a lot of iOS apps are HUGE
the newer games can easily hit 2GB of storage on your device if not more

and you can just download the cloud onto your phone. why pay the carriers when you can download over cheap home connections and carry your media everywhere you go

Re:What would they store? (2)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44522395)

16GB doesn't even cover a metric ton of any of those things, never mind all of those things.

You know what offers offline viewing? Those obsolete bits of spinning plastic that everyone likes to disparage so much.

Mobile devices have very restrictive bandwidth limits. Your monthly quota might not even cover a single movie.

Sometimes I wonder if the shills actually use any of the products or services they like to whine about.

Re:What would they store? (1)

Mad Bad Rabbit (539142) | about a year ago | (#44522527)

Lookup tables, for processor-intensive tasks (image recognition, 3d scanning, gaze tracking, etc.) that your phone's processor is too lazy to do in realtime.

Re:What would they store? (1)

grumbel (592662) | about a year ago | (#44522549)

What would they store?

Everything. When you have Terabytes of storages you stop thinking about storing photos, you store a non-stop video stream of everything. A 'photo' will just be a bookmark into that video stream. It means high quality lifelogging will be practical.

Games are another thing, some modern games already take up 20GB and sooner or later they will find their way to smartphones and tablets. It would be possible to stream them instead of storing them on the phone, but so far there aren't really many games that do that and even those that do tend to have GBs of cache on the HDD.

Re:What would they store? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44522565)

My phone takes 8MP pictures and 1080p video. 16GB is a joke.

I currently have 80GB of space on my phone and it's almost completely full. Thankfully it has a microSD slot, so I can swap out 64GB cards as needed.

Re:What would they store? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44522575)

If you chose to be a corporate pawn and consume media the way your overlords demand, that's your problem.

The only reason I still cling to my aging 160GB iPod is because I can't get all that storage space on my phone, or any other portable media player, this side of Archos. I like all my media stuff offline, so I don't depend on network availability or content provider's financial health.

Re:What would they store? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year ago | (#44522759)

I remember people saying that about hard drives larger than 20 MB.

Re:What would they store? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#44522825)

Well what would you store on your PC if you had a Terrabyte of data?

If you have more storage apps will find a way to make use of it. Less Cloud and more locally running. Is Cloud Computing a good thing or a bad thing now... I am getting confused.

Re:What would they store? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44523493)

Well what would you store on your PC if you had a Terrabyte of data?

If you have more storage apps will find a way to make use of it. Less Cloud and more locally running. Is Cloud Computing a good thing or a bad thing now... I am getting confused.

Well, since most people don't have a TB of storage on their home computer and for most people their hard drive is not out of space, it would stand to reason that a TB of storage on their phone would also be underutilized. Most likely, a TB of storage will wind up being filled with cache and log files.

Re:What would they store? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44523125)

fuck that.

you know what has really been bugging me? I still can't get the same functionality as my ipod classic had out of a cellphone. I can't fit 80gigs of music into any of them and still have 80gigs of bugout data pack mashed on it.

and yeah pretty much the places and situations I'd like to access that stuff the cloud is unavailable.

Give me 1TB on my phone and tablet (3)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44521703)

and I'll stop complaining about lack of SD slots. Especially since the SD cards mostly seem to run crappy FAT file systems. There's really no excuse for that.

Re:Give me 1TB on my phone and tablet (2)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about a year ago | (#44521791)

and I'll stop complaining about lack of SD slots. Especially since the SD cards mostly seem to run crappy FAT file systems. There's really no excuse for that.

I still want an SD card so I can get data on and off my phone when it won't fully boot.

Re:Give me 1TB on my phone and tablet (2)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44521871)

Agreed, but not only on FAT. There's still no excuse for that being our only option.

Re:Give me 1TB on my phone and tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44523333)

Then use ext4. That's what I use on my Android phone.

Re:Give me 1TB on my phone and tablet (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44523533)

I never did find a guide that works for that. I'll have to go do another hunt in that case. All the methods I've tried were unsuccessful and it always kept asking to format my card.

Re:Give me 1TB on my phone and tablet (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44521883)

and I'll stop complaining about lack of SD slots. Especially since the SD cards mostly seem to run crappy FAT file systems. There's really no excuse for that.

I still want an SD card so I can get data on and off my phone when it won't fully boot.

That's what we ran into here, I have a microSD to SD adapter clipped to the wall for when someone's mobile has gone inert.

Re:Give me 1TB on my phone and tablet (3, Informative)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#44522019)

I still want an SD card so I can get data on and off my phone when it won't fully boot.

Well, Android phones run Linux, so unless they've intentionally crappidied it (which they do a lot) it should be able to use any FS which Linux supports.

To share a piece of wisdom that I got from slashdot, try formatting it in UDF. Every major OS can read and write it and even old ones like XP can read it without extra drivers.

Dunno if the Android devs decided to delete it for no good reason like so many other things.

Re:Give me 1TB on my phone and tablet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44521905)

There is a reason that SD and micro SD 32 gigs and under use FAT 32. operating system interoperability FAT 32 works with all conmen OS's and embedded devices exFAT is a joke NTFS sucks when it comes to Linux support and dont get me started on that dam Craple file system.

Re:Give me 1TB on my phone and tablet (2)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44522441)

NTFS support on Linux is just fine. You need to update your FUD playbook.

Got an NTFS USB hard drive from the warehouse store. Plugged it into the Linux boxes and it "just worked". Would reformat it if not for the lameness of Windows but it's all good anyways.

It's Macs that don't have NTFS support.

Re:Give me 1TB on my phone and tablet (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44522535)

Macs have NTFS read support, but not write.

MS and Apple alike are unwilling to support any filesystem they don't have a patent on, unless it's so common they have no choice. That is why we are stuck with FAT and its variations. MS have given their support to ExFAT - but as it's a propritary format and MS holds patents on it anyway, linux can't read it. Which is probably MS's intention.

Re:Give me 1TB on my phone and tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44521957)

The SD card isn't for extra storage, it's for data transfer. Let's say I have a video that I want to give to somebody. HD videos are easily many GB. Why should I have to wait for an agonizingly slow WiFi or USB transfer when I can just copy it directly to my friend's media?

dom

Re:Give me 1TB on my phone and tablet (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44522165)

if you have a galaxy s3 you can transfer via the NFC chips in the phones

Re:Give me 1TB on my phone and tablet (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44522475)

...at agonizingly slow speeds.

Wireless in all forms sucks. Sometimes it sucks less but it always sucks. Wired transfer methods are universally faster, more reliable, and more secure.

Sometimes the difference is 100:1.

Wireless is one of the biggest shams ever perpetrated upon the willfully ignorant consumer.

Re:Give me 1TB on my phone and tablet (1)

jkflying (2190798) | about a year ago | (#44523045)

802.11ac gives USB2 High-Speed a run for its money, and any new flagship devices from this point forward will support it.

Memory availability breeds memory use (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44521859)

Because I have 32GB SD in my SGS4 I tend to be lazy about cleaning it out because it's so damn full of stuff. So it sits there and I contemplate adding more memory.

it's a vicious cycle

Re:Memory availability breeds memory use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44522261)

You're just lazy. It's not a vicious cycle.

Re:Memory availability breeds memory use (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44522339)

You're just lazy. It's not a vicious cycle.

Actually, I'm on the go so much I don't usually have the free time to organize things. Those unplanned sick days or times when I'm stuck in an airport are when I finally take stock of my SD card and clean it up a bit.

Re:Memory availability breeds memory use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44522413)

You're lazy to, using the Internet instead of walking to people's houses to let them know what you think. Everything about technology is about being lazy.

Re:Memory availability breeds memory use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44522461)

Yeah, right, *you* go ahead and clean up HALF A MILLION FILES or a file system that doesn't even allow directory hard links.
Where do I put this video about parallel programming? In videos/programming or in programming/videos? Softlinks ain't cutting it if you want to keep the ability to move around directories, and use directories like tags (with the ability to tag tags with other tags too).
At least we have ZFS now, so rigid partition sizes and data loss are not such a big problem anymore.

associative memory (2)

goombah99 (560566) | about a year ago | (#44522391)

What we need is associative memory (indexed by key, not address) where you can send a binary query to the blocks of memory and only those satisfying it return a value. This could be as simple as sending a bit mask or as complex as processing a SQL query. But you want this to happen in the memory block itself.

Without that were stuck with serial memory access over a bus whenever we are searching for something. With so much memory I can't imagine a large scale use other than video streams that doesn't boil down to searching it at some point.

As the post I'm replying to noted that with more memory comes more accumulated rubbish. If you are searching it, this is a drag. But with a distributive associative memory search it's all in parallel and saving old stuff doesn't slow it down.

Even if the hardware needed to do associative memory searches in was as large as the memory it backed, at some scale it would be vastly faster than serial searches over a bus.

Re:associative memory (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44523021)

What you describe exists. It's called 'content-addressible memory.' It's used in a few niche applications, most most significent being ethernet switching.

Content-addressible memory is how such a low-power device is able to keep up with the stream of incoming packets, looking up the appropriate port to to use for reaching each MAC address.

Re:associative memory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44523511)

We already have associative memory in the L1 cache, but the number of transistors scales with the square of the size of the cache. Fully associative is very expensive.

To top it off, as you get more transistors, the size of the memory increases, meaning more latency from edge-to-edge, meaning you have to slow down the memory to give time for the clock-cycle to propagate. So the larger the memory, the slower it runs.

This is why "high speed" cache is reserved to smaller sizes, because it is really fast when small and horribly expensive and slow when large. Current memory is O(1) for memory access relative to size, it is just high latency, but that's ok.

Re:Memory availability breeds memory use (1)

Ingenium13 (162116) | about a year ago | (#44523443)

I had a 32GB card on my SGS4, but I quickly started running out of space from nandroid backups (the huge system image for the S4 doesn't help...I was running low on space with only 2-3 backups). Combined with TitaniumBackup backups and other data, and it just wasn't enough. Ended up having to upgrade to a 64GB card.

Because data center... (1)

djupedal (584558) | about a year ago | (#44521877)

By the time those levels materialize, wireless speeds will too, so any 'storage' burden will be on the backend/cloud, not the device. That's why slots are not being bothered with now.

Re:Because data center... (2)

afidel (530433) | about a year ago | (#44521955)

Hahahaha, yeah right, when cellphone plans cap at 1,2.5, or 5GB streaming everything is kinda stupid.

I for one... (2)

Alejux (2800513) | about a year ago | (#44521909)

would love to see hard disk drives become history. They had a good and long run. It's about time they retire!

In the future... (1)

Andrio (2580551) | about a year ago | (#44521965)

We'll have computers where just one chip will have the CPU, RAM and the storage. We'll also have humanoid robots, that will use these chips as their brain.

However, the chips will be volatile. So one day, your robot will be running low on power, trying its best to find a source of electricity. But then it'll run out, and essentially die. However, it will get to be born anew.

And there will be faint traces of who/what it was before its death, left in its brain as echos of a past life.

Re:In the future... (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about a year ago | (#44522757)

One chip package, maybe... one chunk of silicon, probably not. The fab processes are too different. You can fab RAM with a CPU process, but it's totally not cost effective. That's why even today, ARM9 microcontrollers normally max out around 256kB, and it's more like 16-64kB.

CPU-fabbed RAM is VERY expensive. The more recent crop of SoCs increase the ram by stacking 2 or 3 wafers in the same package, so each type (flash, ram, or CPU) can be made via the most cost-effective process, then combined into a single package at the very end. And even now, combining ram, flash, and CPU into a single package is a PREMIUM solution for space-constrained high-budget applications, not a cost-cutting measure.

Re:In the future... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44522809)

Volatile memory will be slower than non-volatile memory once mram is out next year and it gets refined. So unless someone wants to make a slower high power-consumption robot, they will not have issues of data loss when running low on power.

"Memory Wars" (1)

michaelmalak (91262) | about a year ago | (#44521991)

When I first read the headline, I thought it was about something else [wikipedia.org] .

Re:"Memory Wars" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44522163)

Me too, but a different one [wikipedia.org] .

Kids these days (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44522111)

Here's an example of the type of products we used back in the day [microsoft.com] to try to get more RAM without taking out another home mortgage.

Re:Kids these days (1)

rwise2112 (648849) | about a year ago | (#44523359)

This would be more akin to Stacker or DoubleSpace since it's storage, not RAM.

Crap ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44522239)

Looks like I'll have to buy the White Album again. ;-)

Slightly more seriously, unless we go through another round of media files getting bigger ... I have no idea of what I would need terabytes of stuff on my phone for.

Having said that, I'm willing to find out.

Yet... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44522267)

The iPhone will be one of the last devices to implement this technology and still dominate the market because soccer moms and grannies won't care.

Re:Yet... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44522547)

The iPhone already has slipped from dominance.

The apathy of soccer moms and grannies is a double edged sword here. While they don't care about the finer things, they also don't care about the finer things.

So much data... (1)

axlash (960838) | about a year ago | (#44522367)

...so little battery power to process it all.

Jam Tomorrow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44522617)

Non-volatile memory cons are like the holographic optical disk cons. In both fields, multiple companies promise world changing miracles, but always the date is some vague tomorrow.

E-squared (electrical erasable) that then became flash, and CD->DVD->Bluray both represent solid, reliable, well proven technologies. Replacing either with alternate approaches is almost infinitely more difficult than you might imagine.

Non-flash, non-volatile memory solutions have existed BEFORE the days of Flash/EE, but they were/are expensive, unreliable, and defy the need to scale their densities every 1.5 years. They may be compared to plasma displays, vs the traditional LCD. Where is plasma now?

To explain better, think about this. Write-once DVDs are notorious for being unreadable a few years later. The discs use dyes to store information, and the dyes are very sensitive to ambient light and heat. If a writeable DVD used a METAL layer, the data would never be lost, so why are dyes used instead (and NO cost isn't the answer, since commercial pressed DVDs always use a foil layer).

The RRAM con is a lot like someone saying they are going to build writeable DVD disks with a metal layer, not a dye layer. If you are an idiot, you will focus on the "metal" bit and think the plan a good idea. If you are NOT an idiot, you will ask yourself why every other company opts for dyes, and guess there are VERY VERY solid engineering reasons for this fact.

Finding a non-volatile material is child's play. Making a prototype chip from this material, when you can control ALL the conditions in the lab, is child's play. AND, if your potential investors are VERY VERY stupid, this con has already gained you a big infusion of cash. Scaling this chip to the density of current flash, with the read/write speeds of current flash, and the safe programming energies of current flash, will be UTTERLY IMPOSSIBLE. Just ask the dozens of other non-volatile memory companies that have fallen by the wayside.

The best a company like Crossbar will likely do is produce the world's most expensive ROM chips, with horrendous programming times and memory densities.

PS if you care, go Google "bubble memory" to see how these games pan out.

Re:Jam Tomorrow (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44522961)

Samsung has already started mass production of layered high density non-volatile NAND, and HP and Hynix have already started re-tooling for MRAM that has no write cycle limitations and is non-volatile. They will be starting mass-production soon, as they will no longer be producing NAND. Hynix will be making non-volatile DDR3, which is faster and consumes less power, and HP is planning on supplying chips for SSD manufacturers.

Your "won't happen", has already happened. May want to keep up with the news a bit better.

Re:Jam Tomorrow (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44523263)

...so why are dyes used instead...

Because if it doesn't wear out, nobody will buy more. Don't they teach that in business school?

Re:Jam Tomorrow (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#44523729)

Indeed. There will be gradual improvements, prices may go down, but nothing revolutionary will happen. So far the only viable non-volatile memory is FLASH which derives from EEPROM and is about 30 years old, or 50 if you count EEPROM. Yes, it took _that_ long to make it into a somewhat viable alternative to magnetic disk storage. It is completely stupid to expect something demonstrated in a lab under very controlled conditions to be a cheap mass-produced product within less than a few decades and most of these demonstrations will never amount to anything.

We Will Have Enough Memory To Track NSA Employees (1)

classiclantern (2737961) | about a year ago | (#44522741)

Anyone have a good meta data analysis program?

Which technology will prevail...? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44523235)

Pie in the skyrmion [nbcnews.com] ...

Does this mean Apple devs use GC again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44523365)

A while ago (sorry couldn't find it) somebody posted a nice chart showing how garbage collection performs poorly in memory constrained environments; but has negligible impact when there is plenty of memory.

With BS it is BS that BS will BS! BS! (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#44523645)

Why do these stupid stories creep up time and again? There is nothing revolutionary here. And a start-up demonstrating anything is more of an indication that this will not ever materialize, than the opposite. A look at past "revolutions" show that basically noting materialized, and the few things that did took decades and were far less revolutionary than advertised.

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