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64 Mbyte Write once CMOS Chip from Standard Fabs

CmdrTaco posted more than 12 years ago | from the wait-till-it-shrinks-a-bit dept.

Technology 173

brian wang writes "Matrix semiconductor has taped out 64 Mbyte write once chip. It is 8 layer memory that can be made at standard fabs. They will be made at Taiwan Semiconductor initially in a 0.25micron process. It will be compatible with Flash. Obviously when they move to 0.18 micron and 0.13 and 0.10 micron processes that already are producing chips the memory size will shoot up to rival CDRoms from single chips. Revolutionary impact for handhelds, PCs, ROMDrives etc..." See, I knew it: Little is better.

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First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731744)

Woo Hoo FP!!!!!!!!

Nice (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731777)

Ik was net effe koffie halen, maar toch.

Can you imagine... (-1, Offtopic)

NTSwerver (92128) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731760)

...a Furbeowulf [] cluster of these !

hmm (-1)

GaylordFucker (465080) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731952)

look at that showoff flexing his muscles... what a dork

Re:Can you imagine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2732409)

the only thing write once chips are good for are storing program code. even then, it's usually better to have write many flash, in case the firmware in any such device needs to be upgraded. (in factory or by consumer) Other than that, I don't see any use for this. Vaporware. Move on folks, nothing to see here.

Little Is Bettter.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731762)

Thats _not_ what she said....

Re:Little Is Bettter.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731807)

Tell me about it. All that Kathryn Turber could complain about is how small the taco-weenie is

NICE little TITTIES! (-1)

Spooging Cum-Wanker (318665) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731855)

perky and cute!


Re:Little Is Bettter.... (1)

CCIEwannabe (538547) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731859)

It's not the size of the handheld, it's how you use it! ;)


Re:Little Is Bettter.... (1)

archen (447353) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731912)

If it's handheld it's probably not being used right...

Re:Little Is Bettter.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2732306)

Heh, that tells us *WAY* too much about Taco!

No more scratches (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731764)

But they will not burn so nice and bright in the microwave...
What a shame.

On the serious side tho, it looks like a very viable technology for permanent information sharing between many devices...

Re:No more scratches (-1)

Fucky the troll (528068) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731833)

hehe I'm really funny. on the serious side tho, my grammar is terrible and I'm a brown-nosing twat.

really, now? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731770)

"Little is better."

That's not what my girlfriend told me, Taco.

Re:really, now? (-1)

The WIPO Troll (267426) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731795)

That's what Taco's girlfriend told him, to make him feel better, of course.

This poast dedicated to WeatherTroll! (-1)

The WIPO Troll (267426) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731773)

By The WIPO Troll [] , $Revision: 1.14 $

Why do I keep receiving emails from someone calling himself "CmdrTaco"?

You have been receiving email from a certain
Robert "CmdrTaco" Malda [] , owner of the popular technology website Slashdot [] . Actually, it's not a very "popular" site in the common sense of the word; the site is rife with pimply, antisocial geeks, zit-faced nerds, communists, dirty GNU hippies [] , and other societal rejects and outcasts. It's also home to one of the world's largest pædophile ring, the infamous "Slashdot crew."
Whenever Mr. Malda gets bored (and who wouldn't, running a site like
Slashdot all day), he roams through the user database, penis in hand, looking for people who might enjoy engaging in homosexual activities with him. How he determines this is anyone's guess; but if you have a homosexual-sounding nickname, or a nick with a letter of the English alphabet in it, you're in trouble.
This time, he found
you. Lucky you.

He seems to be speaking in some sort of code. Do you know what it means?

CmdrTaco's code language is relatively easy to decipher. He prefers to speak in thinly-veiled sexual innuendo to evade the watchful (but relatively stupid) eye of Slashdot's parent corporation,
VA Software [] . Mr. Malda's "Commander" is, of course, his penis -- a small, withered little thing that lives in his pants and only comes out in the presence of other male geeks or at the beck and call of CmdrTaco's own lubed-up right hand. His "Taco bells" are the shriveled testicles that droop beneath his Commander, and his "Taco sauce" is his thick, gooey semen. It should be more than obvious to you now what he means if he asked you to "ring his Taco bells" or "taste his gourmet Taco sauce."
I would guess he also asked you to engage in a practice known as "Taco-snotting" and, if he was in a particularly depraved mood at the time, a "circle-snot."

Good Lord. What is "Taco-snotting?"

"Taco-snotting" is the term used by CmdrTaco to refer to the act of fellating a homosexual man (or unwilling heterosexual; CmdrTaco is rumoured to prefer rape), then blowing the semen out his nose onto the face and body of his partner or victim. Naturally, a long, bubbly stream of milky-white semen is
left on CmdrTaco's face [] , dribbling out of his nose and down his cheek: hence the term, "Taco-snotting."
A "circle-snot" is a Taco-snotting
circle-jerk, another practice common among the Slashdot crew. CmdrTaco, CowboiKneel [] , and Homos get together and snot each other with their gooey, sticky cum -- spooging their jizz-snot all over each other's faces and pasty, white bodies, until they're covered head to toe with their own and each other's man juice. This vile ritual can go on for hours. For the homosexual penetration that follows this lengthy foreplay, Roblowme is usually there to provide plenty of anal lubricant; he owns a limo service and has ample supplies of motor oil and axle grease ready to go.
To complete this perverted orgy, fellow geeks Michael, Timothy, and Jamie will usually join in, dressed in tight leather mock-S.S. uniforms, jack boots, and leather gloves. The whole group then proceeds to snot each other's spunk and whip each other's pudgy asses with riding crops and chains until their pale, white geek bodies are exhausted and soaked in stinking sweat from the hours of passionate, homosexual revelry.

Ewwwwww. So, can I stop receiving these emails?

You most likely forgot to uncheck the "Willing to Taco-snot" checkbox in your account preferences. CmdrTaco has probably already got the hots for your wad, and he's probably already been lurking outside your bathroom window for weeks with a camera, some tissues and lube. There's no escaping a geek in heat, so it's probably too late for you, but you can possibly rectify this situation. To remove yourself from CmdrTaco's sights, log into your Slashdot account, go to your user page, click on
Messages, and uncheck the box next to "Willing to Taco-snot." Maybe he'll ignore you. Probably not.

I can't stop receiving these emails from CmdrTaco!?

If you indulge him in a Taco-snot or two, he
might leave you alone. You might also want to look into mail filtering, restraining orders, or purchasing a heavy, blunt object capable of warding off rampaging homosexual geeks in heat. Trust me, when they charge... oh, the humanity. If he gets you, and you let him Taco-snot you, you will most likely end up tied up in his basement to be used as his sex slave for the rest of your life (or until he accidentally drowns you in spunk in a circle-snot).

Have you ever been Taco-Snotted?

Unfortunately, yes. I first met CmdrTaco at an
Open Source Convention [] . He invited me back to his room for a game of Quake and some "gourmet Tacos," but when I got there, he jumped me and tied me to his bed, stripping me. After taking his "Commander" out of his pants, Mr. Taco made me suck the withered thing six times. He then performed his vile Taco-snotting ritual on me three times over the next two hours, bringing me to orgasm after sweaty, mind-numbing orgasm... then he snotted my own milky-white jizz back onto my face, into my mouth, then again on my exposed belly.
CmdrTaco invited several of his Open Source (or rather, "Open Sauce" -- man sauce) buddies over to continue the twisted snotfest. Linux Torvalds
raped my ass [] with his "monolithic kernel [] ," and Anal Cox used his "network stack" in a multitude of unspeakable ways on and in every orifice in my defenseless body. Michael was there in his leather Nazi uniform, caning my ass with a bamboo pole and ranting about "all those Censorware freaks out to get him."
How did you finally escape, you ask? After about 16 hours of countless homosexual atrocities perpetrated against my restrained body, they all finally went to sleep on top of me, sweat-soaked and exhausted. I was left there, covered in bubbly, translucent jizz-snot, chained to the bed, with half a dozen fat, pasty-white fags lying around and on top of me. Fortunately the spooge coating my flesh worked wonderfully as a lubricant; I was able to squirm my way out of the handcuffs and slip out the back door. I'm just glad I survived the ordeal. These geeks had a lot of built-up spunk in their wads -- I could've easily been drowned!

That's horrible. Does "Taco-snotting" have anything to do with CmdrTaco's "special taco"?

No, that's a different disgusting perversion CmdrTaco indulges himself in. CmdrTaco is usually not satisfied with merely snotting your own jizz back onto your face, he most often enjoys involving his own bodily fluids in his twisted games.
WeatherTroll [] has spent some time trying to educate the Slashdot readership about this vile practice (emphasis added):
You may be wondering what CmdrTaco's "special taco" is. You will be wishing that you hadn't been wondering after you finish reading this post. To make his "special taco", CmdrTaco takes a taco shell and
shits on it. He then adds lettuce, jacks off on the taco, and adds a compound to make the person who eats the taco unconscious. Of course, the compound does not make the person unconscious until the taco is fully eaten. Thus CmdrTaco force-feeds the taco to the unsuspecting victim.
After the victim is unconscious, he is held against his will and used for CmdrTaco's nefarious sexual purposes. This includes shoving taco shells up the victim's ass, Taco-snotting, and getting Jon Katz involved.
Completely different, yet no less revolting. It should be clear to you now that CmdrTaco is a very, very sick individual, as are most of the Slashdot editors.

Does Jon Katz get involved in any of this? I thought he was a pædophile, not a homosexual.

Actually, Jon Katz is a homosexual pædophile. He's also a coprophiliac, and, many suspect, a zophile. Jon Katz is somewhat of a loner and doesn't involve himself in circle-snots. Mr. Katz usually engages in a game called "
Katz juicy-douching [] " with his harem of little-boy slaves: a vile practice which involves administering an enema to himself of the little boy's urine (forced out of them with a pair of pliers), spooging the vile muck from his ass back into the enema bag, then squirting and slathering the goo all over himself, and the little boy's chained-up and naked bodies. If he's in the mood, he will sometimes skip refilling the enema bag and just squirt it from his ass [] onto his boys. Unwilling boys are further tortured with the pliers until they comply and allow Mr. Katz to juicy-douche them for the rest of their lives.
As I already said, Mr. Katz is
also a zophile. As if the sexual escapades with the helpless little boys aren't enough, Jon usually enjoys his juicy-douches best when his penis is firmly planted in a female goat's anus [] . He is also rumoured to get off on watching his little boys eat the goat's small, bean-like turds.

...Are you getting hard writing this?

Why, yes. :) Join me in a WIPO-snot?

No, thanks. I'm already CmdrTaco's boi toi.

$Id: tacosnotting.html,v 1.14 2001/12/18 09:01:22 wipo Exp $
Copyright © 2001
The WIPO Troll [] . Verbatim crapflooding of this document is permitted in any medium, provided this copyright notice is preserved, and next time you take a dump, you think of the WIPO Troll and all he's done to make Slashdot a better place.

I have a pet goat! (-1)

Spooging Cum-Wanker (318665) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731774)

His name is "goat"!

He is a nice goat!

I take him for walks!

We like to walk in the park!

Nice, happy goat!

I also like my sheep!

It is a nice fuzzy warm sheep!

My sheep is good for warming my weenie!

I like to ride my sheep!

Sheep sheep sheep sheep sheep!


Re:I have a pet goat! (-1)

The WIPO Troll (267426) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731783)

goat g0at go@t g0@t!

Re:I have a pet goat! (-1)

Spooging Cum-Wanker (318665) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731837)

shiny happy goat!

Re:I have a pet goat! (-1)

The WIPO Troll (267426) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731858)

Shiny? You used a bit too much lube there, pal. The goat should become slick and smooth to slide into, but not shiny.

Re:I have a pet goat! (-1)

Spooging Cum-Wanker (318665) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731950)

no, I meant like that hideous REM song with the chick with the big hair form the B-52's

OS BIOS (4, Interesting)

lavaforge (245529) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731775)

I'm not too much of a hardware guy, but I do know that the BIOS of a computer are made of CMOS. I also know that they're extremely small. Would this have any impact on instant boot projects like LinuxBIOS? With 64MB you could fit pretty much the entire boot procedure. That would be sweet.

Re:OS BIOS (4, Informative)

toastyman (23954) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731808)

Actually, no.

The tiny bit of ram that the BIOS uses to store all your settings between boots is made of CMOS. The BIOS itself is stored in regular PROMs or in more recent years flash rom.

Re:OS BIOS (1)

josquint (193951) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731827)

But you could use it to put an absolute SHITLOAD of setttings in the cmos ;-)

Re:OS BIOS (2, Insightful)

toastyman (23954) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731863)

.... that you could only write once, sure. :)

Re:OS BIOS (2)

anandsr (148302) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731987)

You are right, but the thing is that his idea is
current, since these CMOS chips are write once they
are more like the PROM's. So if the PROM started to
come as a Matrix chip you could replace them simply
with the Matrix chip with your favourite BIOS chip
and yes it could have everything on it. Then we could
see impressive boot times, can you imagine Linux
up and running within 30Secs (I don't know how fast
they are).

Re:OS BIOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2732128)

30 seconds... You could just store an image of the RAM of a booted Linux system and boot INSTANTLY...!!!

ZAP! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731776)

CDs don't get zapped with static.

Re:ZAP! (-1)

Genghis Troll (158585) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731898)

You just need more static.

How much will be "enough"? (2, Troll)

Pete (big-pete) (253496) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731779)

Interesting stuff, but how much storage space will we ultimately need to carry with us?

With technology like this advancing along with moore's law I can see that it shouldn't be a few more years before it'll be commonplace to carry devices with GBs of data in your pocket.

It's a common point to note that famous phrase that "640Kb should be enough for anyone!", but I think that now we truely are starting to reach the limits of neccessity for normal portable memory.

How much do you really think YOU need to carry?

-- Pete.

Re:How much will be "enough"? (3, Interesting)

Carl Drougge (222479) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731800)

If the technology is there, people will want to carry (DVD-quality) movies around (without a "huge" DVD..). Once we're there, people will want to carry many of them. And then 3D-movies.. and after that I'm sure someone will come up with something even bigger.

Re:How much will be "enough"? (1)

JWW (79176) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731822)

Yeah, like the MPAA will let that happen.

Re:How much will be "enough"? (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732225)

luckily it's not up to them

some of us are not movie pirates but movie makers!!

Re:How much will be "enough"? (2, Interesting)

87C751 (205250) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731854)

Interesting stuff, but how much storage space will we ultimately need to carry with us?
I think it's not so much "how much" as it is "what kind". This is a nicely portable write-once medium that operates like a conventional CF card. I see it as handy for carrying keying materials (like your GPG private keyring) without having to worry about Mallet trojanizing its contents. More portable and sturdier than a CD-R.

Re:How much will be "enough"? (1)

akula1 (463239) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731890)

In the area of high-quality video, more really is better. If you are using uncompressed video it can suck up the proverbial GB's and GB's of space rather quickly. Who wouldnt want hours of high quality video/audio all on there Palm/IPAQ/Handspring type device.

There would, however need to be a convenient (read wireless), fast way to dump such things back and forth to your home PC. This to me seems to be more of a potential bottleneck than disk space.

Re:How much will be "enough"? (5, Interesting)

Tsar (536185) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731914)

In ten years, if I can have a 1-cm resolution 3D map of my city, which will overlay on my HUD-equipped Oakleys and provide interactivity with any object in my visual environment, and that database requires a 500GB solid state 3D-memory device, then that's what I'm going to want. Learn from history: If you build it, the applications will come.

I once heard a story (may be an urban legend—anybody have good data?) that Bill Gates once visited Intel's offices and that while he and Andy Grove strolled about the facility, Grove mentioned that it was difficult to imagine a widespread consumer market for the blazingly fast CPUs on the far right of Intel's roadmap. According to the story, Gates replied with something like, "Don't worry; continue to develop and market faster chips, and we will continue to develop and market innovative and compelling software that will bring it to its knees." I'd wager that the same goes for memory technology.

Re:How much will be "enough"? (5, Funny)

plastik55 (218435) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732337)

...overlay on my HUD-equipped Oakleys and provide interactivity with any object in my visual environment...

You can just walk up and touch the things you know...

Re:How much will be "enough"? (1)

ptrourke (529610) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731931)

How much do you really think YOU need to carry?

Dunno. It would be nice to have three cards in my wallet, one with my Linux system on it, one with my OS X system on it, one with my Windows system on it, and be able to insert it into a driveless box anywhere I go.

More likely, it would be nice to be able to carry a lot of music, voice notes, etc. around in a card in my wallet.

The point is, you don't know what possibilities Moore's Law will open for the future, and you don't know what people will think they'll need in the future.

Re:How much will be "enough"? (1)

logoszoe (544165) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731934)

I don't care how much storage/memory someone wants to carry with them.

Just don't connect it to me! (think Johnny Mnemonic [] or )

I don't cherish the thought of having to reboot my brain, or memory, whether for a hardware upgrade or software crash...

I am not opposed to use for artificial limbs, etc., as has been discussed before on (/. - Data Glove That Turns Gestures Into Commands [] , just don't try to make my brain work faster...

Re:How much will be "enough"? (1)

CatherineCornelius (543166) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731945)

How much do you really think YOU need to carry?

Well I note that my kids commonly carry some gigabytes of memory around with them in the form of minidiscs, CDs and whatnot, so I don't see that having a ROM chip rivalling a CD in size is such a big stretch. It will almost certainly have its uses.

Re:How much will be "enough"? (3, Insightful)

Howie (4244) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731970)

Well, I have 140Gb of storage for MP3s. I'd like to be able to carry that around, for a start. No more media for my walkman - just everything already in it.

Re:How much will be "enough"? (2, Interesting)

Skinny Rav (181822) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731992)

Well, it would be nice to carry around my ~/. directory, but this is just a couple hundred MB. The whole music collection (maybe even uncompressed, just wav format) in a device size of a typical mp3 player - that's the good thing. I move around a lot and taking lots of cdroms/CDs is quite inconvenient.

Or maybe different: forget PDAs, mp3 players and so on. Think about a key-ring device, like these USB storages, just with a couple of GBs on it, so you can carry _everything_ you need on it, like your home directory, which means you just plug it in any compatible computer (any unix, linux, MacOSX or whatever) and you feel at home: all your files, all your settings, your mp3s, your emacs and mutt configs (OK, I know _these_ would fit on a floppy ;-) are right here, just log in and enjoy.

Surely, I would like a thing like that.

Then of course a question: what is the power consumption of such memory compared to hard drives? Would it increase or reduce battery lifetime in notebooks? Well, for sure it would be faster and not so noisy as HD.


Re:How much will be "enough"? (0, Troll)

glowingspleen (180814) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732004)

Look, the answer here is simple.

"Enough" = when we can have all the goat pron right at our fingertips with no waiting.

Re:How much will be "enough"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2732024)

step up: here is your chance to be remembered by history for saying something stupid about technology. then one day, if you are as famous as bill gates, we can all look back and laugh at you.

just to get your going, ill start it off with a couple:

nobody will ever need more then 100 gig of storage space

the mouse will never be replaced as a way to input data in a computer

without a monitor, a computer is useless

Re:How much will be "enough"? (2)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732251)

With technology like this advancing along with moore's law I can see that it shouldn't be a few more years before it'll be commonplace to carry devices with GBs of data in your pocket.

It's almost then now. Ever watched a DVD on your laptop while you're sitting on a plane?

How much do you really think YOU need to carry?

That question can't be answered unless we can also make assumptions about how much portable bandwidth is available to download data on demand from a (reliable, secure, vast) storage/distribution facility (whether that's an ASP or your always-connected desktop PC) and cache it. Then, the answer is, the optimal size of the cache.

Re:How much will be "enough"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2732377)

Interesting stuff, but how much storage space will we ultimately need to carry with us?

Several factors come into play here. About 10,000 pr0n jpegs fit on one CD, or about 2 hours of Divx pr0n vids. If the RAM device holds 2GB, that's about 31,000 jpegs or about 6 hours of vids.

That is a good bit of pr0n. If you view several hundred jpegs and ~25 minutes of video per "session", and have, say, four "sessions" per day, you have at least a weeks worth of pr0n in your pocket. Not too shabby.

Note: Since we all know pr0n is the *TRUE* driving force behind technology, these are quite valid measurements.

I don't buy it... (1, Troll)

snatchitup (466222) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731784)

I mean, what am I going to use this thing for that CD's, DVD's, already do? If it's WORM, I'm just not interested. I guess about all you could use it for is to cheaply up the amount of phrases a Furbie doll can spew out.. Like the one that the Jerky Boys came across...

Re:I don't buy it... (2, Funny)

QuickFox (311231) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731900)

I guess about all you could use it for is to cheaply up the amount of phrases a Furbie doll can spew out.

Oh my God, now you've done it! Thanks to you Furbies will have a practically limitless repertoire! We'll never get a moment of quiet!

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fish.

Re:I don't buy it... (1)

shadow303 (446306) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731946)

Two words - Shock Resistant

Re:I don't buy it... (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732249)

I do. give me these devices that are 640MEG
replace CD's with random access roms? they're 1" by 1" by 1/16" so I can carry 10 albums in my pocket, or 300 albums in my armrest in my car.
and this is using standard CD technology ideas. plug in, no spinup time, no track seek time no skips no worry about not playing when I'm flying through the air after rearending the car stopped on the highway for the squirrel. No skips at all.

I'd buy it, hell yeah.

Re:I don't buy it... (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732270)

my guess is that it doesn't get scratched
have you ever burned a dvd disc?
not exactly snappy

tried burning a CD in your digital camera?

my high speed CD drive is soo noisy and can oly get up to speed in burst mode, these won't have that problem

reading from them will require no moving parts so the drives will be cheaper & more reliable.

no more stupid cd roms / dvds for that gaming console.

and with a bit of tweaking no doubt software manufacturers can mae one that are incompatable which is a big draw for them. They want cheap mass produced readers which is why they used CD rom variants.

is that enough already?

64 M is small (2, Troll)

lfourrier (209630) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731799)

I remember, years ago, a presentation of write only memory modules, in which you could write TERABYTES of data, in a very small (for the time)dip 16 form factor.
That was a lot of capacity.
And for the fact you could never read it, bah, examine your computer, your diskets box, your cdrom collection... how many Gb did you not read in the last three years.

Re:64 M is small (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731847)

Whats the point in having data you can't read? Might as well store it in /dev/null

Re:64 M is small (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2732336)

Whoever modded the parent as a troll forgot to take their Prozac this morning. It's supposed to be funny!

Taiwan (-1, Offtopic)

K0R$ h4x0r ru1z (533828) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731810)

Background: In 1895, military defeat forced China to cede Taiwan to Japan, however it reverted to Chinese control after World War II. Following the communist victory on the mainland in 1949, 2 million Nationalists fled to Taiwan and established a government using the 1947 constitution drawn up for all of China. Over the next five decades, the ruling authorities gradually democratized and incorporated the native population within its governing structure. Throughout this period, the island has prospered to become one of East Asia's economic "Tigers." The dominant political issue continues to be the relationship between Taiwan and China and the question of eventual reunification.
Taiwan Geography Top of Page
Location: Eastern Asia, islands bordering the East China Sea, Philippine Sea, South China Sea, and Taiwan Strait, north of the Philippines, off the southeastern coast of China
Geographic coordinates: 23 30 N, 121 00 E
Map references: Southeast Asia
Area: total: 35,980 sq km

land: 32,260 sq km

water: 3,720 sq km

note: includes the Pescadores, Matsu, and Quemoy
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Maryland and Delaware combined
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 1,566.3 km
Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: 200 NM

territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate: tropical; marine; rainy season during southwest monsoon (June to August); cloudiness is persistent and extensive all year
Terrain: eastern two-thirds mostly rugged mountains; flat to gently rolling plains in west
Elevation extremes: lowest point: South China Sea 0 m

highest point: Yu Shan 3,997 m
Natural resources: small deposits of coal, natural gas, limestone, marble, and asbestos
Land use: arable land: 24%

permanent crops: 1%

permanent pastures: 5%

forests and woodland: 55%

other: 15%
Irrigated land: NA sq km
Natural hazards: earthquakes and typhoons
Environment - current issues: air pollution; water pollution from industrial emissions, raw sewage; contamination of drinking water supplies; trade in endangered species; low-level radioactive waste disposal
Environment - international agreements: party to: none of the selected agreements

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Taiwan People Top of Page
Population: 22,370,461 (July 2001 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 21.22% (male 2,470,270; female 2,276,108)

15-64 years: 69.97% (male 7,944,451; female 7,707,250)

65 years and over: 8.81% (male 1,034,230; female 938,152) (2001 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.8% (2001 est.)
Birth rate: 14.31 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Death rate: 6 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.09 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.09 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.1 male(s)/female

total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 6.93 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 76.54 years

male: 73.81 years

female: 79.51 years (2001 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.76 children born/woman (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: Chinese (singular and plural)

adjective: Chinese
Ethnic groups: Taiwanese (including Hakka) 84%, mainland Chinese 14%, aborigine 2%
Religions: mixture of Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist 93%, Christian 4.5%, other 2.5%
Languages: Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese (Min), Hakka dialects
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 86% (1980 est.); note - literacy for the total population has reportedly increased to 94% (1998 est.)

male: 93% (1980 est.)

female: 79% (1980 est.)
Taiwan Government Top of Page
Country name: conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Taiwan

local long form: none

local short form: T'ai-wan

former: Formosa
Government type: multiparty democratic regime headed by popularly elected president
Capital: Taipei
Administrative divisions: since in the past the authorities claimed to be the government of all China, the central administrative divisions include the provinces of Fu-chien (some 20 offshore islands of Fujian Province including Quemoy and Matsu) and Taiwan (the island of Taiwan and the Pescadores islands); note - the more commonly referenced administrative divisions are those of Taiwan Province - 16 counties (hsien, singular and plural), 5 municipalities* (shih, singular and plural), and 2 special municipalities** (chuan-shih, singular and plural); Chang-hua, Chia-i, Chia-i*, Chi-lung*, Hsin-chu, Hsin-chu*, Hua-lien, I-lan, Kao-hsiung, Kao-hsiung**, Miao-li, Nan-t'ou, P'eng-hu, P'ing-tung, T'ai-chung, T'ai-chung*, T'ai-nan, T'ai-nan*, T'ai-pei, T'ai-pei**, T'ai-tung, T'ao-yuan, and Yun-lin; the provincial capital is at Chung-hsing-hsin-ts'un

note: Taiwan uses the Wade-Giles system for romanization
National holiday: Republic Day (Anniversary of the Chinese Revolution), 10 October (1911)
Constitution: 1 January 1947, amended in 1992, 1994, 1997, and 1999
Legal system: based on civil law system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President CHEN Shui-bien (20 May 2000) and Vice President Annette LU (since 20 May 2000)

head of government: Premier (President of the Executive Yuan) CHANG Chun-hsiung (since NA October 2000) and Vice Premier (Vice President of the Executive Yuan) LAI In-jaw (since NA October 2000)

cabinet: Executive Yuan appointed by the president

elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held 18 March 2000 (next to be held NA March 2004); premier appointed by the president; vice premiers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the premier

election results: CHEN Shui-bien elected president; percent of vote - CHEN Shui-bien (DPP) 39.3%, James SOONG (independent) 36.84%, LIEN Chan (KMT) 23.1%, HSU Hsin-liang (independent) 0.63%, LEE Ao (CNP) 0.13%
Legislative branch: unicameral Legislative Yuan (225 seats - 168 elected by popular vote, 41 elected on the basis of the proportion of nationwide votes received by participating political parties, eight elected from overseas Chinese constituencies on the basis of the proportion of nationwide votes received by participating political parties, eight elected by popular vote among the aboriginal populations; members serve three-year terms) and unicameral National Assembly (300 seats, note - total number of seats has been reduced from 334 to 300 since the last election; members are elected by proportional representation based on the election of the Legislative Yuan and serve four-year terms)

elections: Legislative Yuan - last held 5 December 1998 (next to be held NA December 2001); National Assembly - last held 23 March 1996 (next to be held NA June 2002)

election results: Legislative Yuan - percent of vote by party - KMT 46%, DPP 29%, CNP 7%, independents 10%, other parties 8%; seats by party - KMT 123, DPP 70, CNP 11, independents 15, other parties 6; subsequent to the election there have been some changes in the distribution of seats in the Legislative Yuan due to new party formation and party defections, the new distribution is as follows - KMT 114, DPP 66, PFP 17, NP 9, other/independent 19; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - KMT 55%, DPP 30%, CNP 14%, other 1%; seats by party - KMT 183, DPP 99, CNP 46, other 6
Judicial branch: Judicial Yuan (justices appointed by the president with the consent of the National Assembly; note - beginning in 2003, justices will be appointed by the president with the consent of the Legislative Yuan)
Political parties and leaders: Chinese New Party or CNP [HAU Lang-bin]; Democratic Progressive Party or DPP [Frank HSIEH, chairman]; Kuomintang or KMT (Nationalist Party) [LIEN Chan, chairman]; New Party or NP [LI Ching-hwa]; People First Party or PFP [James SOONG, chairman]; other minor parties
Political pressure groups and leaders: Taiwan independence movement, various business and environmental groups

note: debate on Taiwan independence has become acceptable within the mainstream of domestic politics on Taiwan; political liberalization and the increased representation of opposition parties in Taiwan's legislature have opened public debate on the island's national identity; a broad popular consensus has developed that Taiwan currently enjoys de facto independence and - whatever the ultimate outcome regarding reunification or independence - that Taiwan's people must have the deciding voice; advocates of Taiwan independence oppose the stand that the island will eventually reunify with mainland China; goals of the Taiwan independence movement include establishing a sovereign nation on Taiwan and entering the UN; other organizations supporting Taiwan independence include the World United Formosans for Independence and the Organization for Taiwan Nation Building
International organization participation: APEC, AsDB, BCIE, ICC, ICFTU, IFRCS, IOC, WCL, WTrO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US: none; unofficial commercial and cultural relations with the people of the US are maintained through a private instrumentality, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the US with headquarters in Taipei and field offices in Washington and 12 other US cities
Diplomatic representation from the US: none; unofficial commercial and cultural relations with the people on Taiwan are maintained through a private corporation, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), which has its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia (telephone: [1] (703) 525-8474 and FAX: [1] (703) 841-1385) and offices in Taipei at #7 Lane 134, Hsin Yi Road, Section 3, telephone [886] (2) 2709-2000, FAX [886] (2) 2702-7675, and in Kao-hsiung at #2 Chung Cheng 3rd Road, 5th Floor, telephone [886] (7) 224-0154 through 0157, FAX [886] (7) 223-8237, and the American Trade Center at Room 3208 International Trade Building, Taipei World Trade Center, 333 Keelung Road Section 1, Taipei 10548, telephone [886] (2) 2720-1550, FAX [886] (2) 2757-7162
Flag description: red with a dark blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a white sun with 12 triangular rays
Taiwan Economy Top of Page
Economy - overview: Taiwan has a dynamic capitalist economy with gradually decreasing guidance of investment and foreign trade by government authorities. In keeping with this trend, some large government-owned banks and industrial firms are being privatized. Real growth in GDP has averaged about 8% during the past three decades. Exports have grown even faster and have provided the primary impetus for industrialization. Inflation and unemployment are low; the trade surplus is substantial; and foreign reserves are the world's fourth largest. Agriculture contributes 3% to GDP, down from 35% in 1952. Traditional labor-intensive industries are steadily being moved offshore and replaced with more capital- and technology-intensive industries. Taiwan has become a major investor in China, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The tightening of labor markets has led to an influx of foreign workers, both legal and illegal. Because of its conservative financial approach and its entrepreneurial strengths, Taiwan suffered little compared with many of its neighbors from the Asian financial crisis in 1998-99. Growth in 2001 will depend largely on conditions in Taiwan's export markets and may be about 5%.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $386 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 6.3% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $17,400 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 3%

industry: 33%

services: 64% (1999 est.)
Population below poverty line: 1% (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.3% (2000 est.)
Labor force: 9.8 million (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: services 55%, industry 37%, agriculture 8% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate: 3% (2000 est.)
Budget: revenues: $42.74 billion

expenditures: $48.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
Industries: electronics, petroleum refining, chemicals, textiles, iron and steel, machinery, cement, food processing
Industrial production growth rate: 8% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production: 139.676 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 67.26%

hydro: 6.32%

nuclear: 26.42%

other: 0% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 129.899 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: rice, corn, vegetables, fruit, tea; pigs, poultry, beef, milk; fish
Exports: $148.38 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities: machinery and electrical equipment 51%, metals, textiles, plastics, chemicals
Exports - partners: US 23.5%, Hong Kong 21.1%, Europe 16%, ASEAN 12.2%, Japan 11.2% (2000)
Imports: $140.01 billion (c.i.f., 2000)
Imports - commodities: machinery and electrical equipment 51%, minerals, precision instruments
Imports - partners: Japan 27.5%, US 17.9%, Europe 13.6% (2000)
Debt - external: $40 billion (2000)
Currency: new Taiwan dollar (TWD)
Currency code: TWD
Exchange rates: new Taiwan dollars per US dollar - 33.082 (yearend 2000), 31.395 (yearend 1999), 32.216 (1998), 32.052 (1997), 27.5 (1996)
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June (up to FY98/99); 1 July 1999 - 31 December 2000 for FY00; calendar year (after FY00)
Taiwan Communications Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use: 12.49 million (September 2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 16 million (September 2000)
Telephone system: general assessment: provides telecommunications service for every business and private need

domestic: thoroughly modern; completely digitalized

international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean); submarine cables to Japan (Okinawa), Philippines, Guam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Australia, Middle East, and Western Europe (1999)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 218, FM 333, shortwave 50 (1999)
Radios: 16 million (1994)
Television broadcast stations: 29 (plus two repeaters) (1997)
Televisions: 8.8 million (1998)
Internet country code: .tw
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 8 (2000)
Internet users: 6.4 million (2000)
Taiwan Transportation Top of Page
Railways: total: 4,600 km (519 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 4,600 km 1.067-m

note: only 1,108 km of route length (including the electrified part) is used in common carrier service by the Taiwan Railway Administration; the remaining 3,492 km is dedicated to industrial use (1999)
Highways: total: 34,901 km

paved: 31,271 km (including 538 km of expressways)

unpaved: 3,630 km (1998 est.)
Waterways: NA
Pipelines: petroleum products 3,400 km; natural gas 1,800 km (1999)
Ports and harbors: Chi-lung (Keelung), Hua-lien, Kao-hsiung, Su-ao, T'ai-chung
Merchant marine: total: 167 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,768,145 GRT/7,508,941 DWT

ships by type: bulk 45, cargo 29, combination bulk 1, container 65, petroleum tanker 17, refrigerated cargo 8, roll on/roll off 2 (2000 est.)
Airports: 39 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 35

over 3,047 m: 8

2,438 to 3,047 m: 9

1,524 to 2,437 m: 8

914 to 1,523 m: 7

under 914 m: 3 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 4

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

under 914 m: 3 (2000 est.)
Heliports: 3 (2000 est.)
Taiwan Military Top of Page
Military branches: Army, Navy (includes Marines), Air Force, Coastal Patrol and Defense Command, Armed Forces Reserve Command, Combined Service Forces
Military manpower - military age: 19 years of age
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 6,575,689 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 5,025,856 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually: males: 198,766 (2001 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $8.042 billion (FY98/99)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.8% (FY98/99)
Taiwan Transnational Issues Top of Page
Disputes - international: involved in complex dispute over the Spratly Islands with China, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, and possibly Brunei; Paracel Islands occupied by China, but claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; claims Japanese-administered Senkaku-shoto (Senkaku Islands/Diaoyu Tai), as does China
Illicit drugs: transit point for heroin and methamphetamine; major problem with domestic consumption of methamphetamine and heroin

So WHAT capacities are possible? (3, Informative)

Tsar (536185) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731815)

"Using a 3-D fabrication method that deposits layers of circuits with a modified CMOS process, the technique can yield nine to 10 times the amount of chips per a given wafer, providing a cost advantage over traditional flash memory, according to Matrix..."

So we could see a CDROM-capacity write-once "consumable memory" chip that was the same size as a 64MB chip now. Nice, but the article later says:

"The company said it sees no limit to the number of layers that could be added to a device."

How does that jive with the earlier stated scalability of 9-10x?

"'If they can really do this and produce working devices, it is very hot,' said Richard Wawrzyniak, an analyst at Semico Research (Phoenix)."

Oh, so heat is the limiting factor! <g> Seriously, though, I agree with his assessment—having the devices actually work would greatly contribute to their coolness factor.

Re:So WHAT capacities are possible? (2)

Emil Brink (69213) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731884)

It jives very well, the way I read it. They get more chips per wafer, at a factor of 9-10X since the chips' areas are smaller. They claim to be able to grow the volume (i.e., the height) by adding any number of layers. Thus, the overall capacity can scale without limit, assuming, probably, loads of things. Personally, I'm not sure this is an overall good thing--it just seems like a way for Kodak et al to continue the gotta-buy-consumable-storage way of photography running. And I dislike that. Of course, Sony's MemorySticks aren't exactly cheap... ;^)

Re:So WHAT capacities are possible? (2, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731964)

Well proprietary Sony memory may not be cheap, but compact flash and smartmedia sure are. 320MB CF can be had for as cheap as $142. Tell me that's not cheap. Hell 2 years ago that much sdram would have cost at least that much. Speaking of cheap, compact flash costs only $20 for a 64MB piece, this tech is going to have to be damn cheap to be worth it. I mean who is going to buy write once memory for even a small fraction of the read/write equivilant?

I'm telling you... its not cheap. (1)

WinPimp2K (301497) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732431)

OK. Are you happy now?

Seriously, consider the potential for something like this with a storage capacity similar to that of a CD (or even bigger) with a cost comparable to a CD-R, but a footprint the size of a postage stamp. So, if you have a choice of spending $142 for 320 MB of reuseable CF, or getting 450+ GB of Write-Once CF-R for the same price, which one are you really likely to choose? (assume they can sell them for $1.99 each - be optimistic) And if you need more than a single piece of CF - because you have several devices that use it?

This could replace a lot of currently used media (CDs, DVDs, VHS tape, floppies, film, etc) and they could all use the same reader hardware.

I hope they do well, buuut.... (2)

dbarclay10 (70443) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731821)

Really, I do hope they do well. It's always nice to see new technologies. I don't think this is particularily *new*, so to speak, but you get the idea.

Now, the question is, will general consumers have any interest in these? I wouldn't want my motherboard's BIOS to be on one of these things. Even Intel and IBM make mistakes; if I had to buy a new chip with the new BIOS revision on it, I'd be irritated.

Likewise, for PDAs and the like, it's even more doubtful. Sure, if they're cheap, it might be useful for *some* things. But do you want your OS on there? Really? Understand that you can't upgrade it, you can't change anything that's on there ... you're stuck with what they give you.

Re:I hope they do well, buuut.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731919)

Oh boy, wow this is coming from people that complain about all the linux lemmings? Not trying to nit pick but Alot of the underlying code for the MS operating systems hasnt changed that much once a product has been released. So if ya put most of the Non media files on one of thesethings it makes sense but really computers are not the main use for write once. More likely little consumer devices. Soon you may even see little McDonalds MP3 players filled with Brittney Spears and Backstreet Boys songs written to these little roms. They are small and if they are like CMOS shouldn't require that much power to access. Fun idea though. If it really works out you might see another cartrige based nintendo product released ;). Anyway we are all a bunch of nerds anyway so it really doesn't matter that there are no practical applications...

Re:I hope they do well, buuut.... (3, Insightful)

ianezz (31449) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732157)

Understand that you can't upgrade it, you can't change anything that's on there ... you're stuck with what they give you

Well, it depends. On a multisession CDROM you can add data until there's space on it. A translating layer in the middle could present the data in the new session as an overlay over the data in the previous sessions, thus giving you a "write few times - read many times" storage media, even if a given area can be written only once. This indeed is what is done at least for the table of contents of a multisession CDROM.

Since CDROMs have slow access time, this is pratical only for the TOC, which is read only few times, but for these chips that would be a non-issue, and assuming you don't have to write 64MB (or whatever size they'll be) at once on them, you could effectively "update" the data on them.

Incidentally, access to earlier versions of the data would be easy: one would just have to consider all the sessions but the last N ones...

Does it still sound weird to use them for storing firmware?

Re:I hope they do well, buuut.... (2)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732185)

You are correct... but mixing terms.
It's still Write Once - Read Many. Just like a CD-R, or an old WORM drive.

Regardless of how you are 'seeing' the filesystem on it.. you are still only ever writing to somewhere that has never been written before.

Also... what do you mean, 'practical only for the TOC'? A multisession CD, yes, writes new data (if required) and a new TOC.

How would this memory be any different?

You are are wrong.. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731828)

>Little is better

... That is not what she told me..

I see now... (0, Offtopic)

coug_ (63333) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731852)

See, I knew it: Little is better.
So.. that's why it's not Commander Burrito

Genius (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731853)

See, I knew it: Little is better.

Surely these are the words of a genius!

Ever closer (4, Funny)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731864)

To creating real Write-only [] memory.

IM A TROLL! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731875)



I like to warn people about the "special taco" and "taco snotting"

I like putting in random crap

BSD is dying, and don't forget the Penis bird!
Love the mythical trolls, who fight the crappy /.!

Critical question for comparison with CDs (2, Interesting)

Myco (473173) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731885)

One thing I didn't see answered in the article: these chips are write-once, we know that. But does that mean you must write the entire chip in one session, or could it be done incrementally?

Put another way, does write-once in this case mean it's like a CD (commit entire data payload in one chunk and seal it forever), or like a blank book (fill in pages as you go).

If it can be done incrementally, that represents a significant advantage over CDs, other factors being (for the sake of argument) equal.

Re:Critical question for comparison with CDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731920)

No, the critical question is: how much? I pay significantly less than a dollar for blank CDs: how likely is it that they can make a 640MB chip for a comparable price?

Hint: the correct answer is "not very".

Re:Critical question for comparison with CDs (1)

Myco (473173) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731949)

As I said, all other factors being equal. I would expect that these would cost more per unit than CDs, but I would also expect that they'll be able to hold a lot more data once the technology is refined. I don't think we've got enough information here to evaluate important factors like cost-per-byte.

Re:Critical question for comparison with CDs (1)

kesuki (321456) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732094)

While you Do have to complete a CD-R session for any data to be written, and there is a penalty in capacity for writing multi-session. You can 'burn' dozens of 'sessions' onto a CD-r.

Obviously the problem with this new media is that to be 100% compatible with flash the TOC area needs to be Rewritable. Otherwise each burn is going to require a new TOC is written, in a new spot, and the OS will need to support this.

It would be interesting if they could use burn-proof technology along with a hybrid cd-r/cd-rw disc where the TOC area was RW and the data area was cd-r. A disc that appeared to be a 'single' session even though you had written to it several times. Which only saves a few dozen MBs... oh well.

Re:Critical question for comparison with CDs (1)

adam303 (543395) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732107)

Since when is a CD write once? I have a multi-session CD that I use to put larger documents on and bring to school to print on the color laser... about 20 different sessions. No problems. Maybe I'm confused about CD-Rs but I sure have written onto this one on 20 different occasions and still have quite a few megabytes of space left. Adam

write once? umm... no thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731915)

I'll still with flash re-writable memory... what's the point if I can only write once? unless they really make the modules so cheap they're practically giving them away, I don't see this tech. taking off.

Re:write once? umm... no thanks. (4, Interesting)

Sunken Kursk (518450) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731988)

what's the point if I can only write once?

Tell him what some uses are, Johnny!

  • Low-cost, high-capacity memory for embedded devices
  • Smaller, scratch resistant replacement for CDs (Especially good for singles)
  • "Rolls of film" for a digital camera without spending $30 on a new flash card. This makes it possible for people with no/slow computers to use digital cameras easily and maintain a digital copy of their images.
  • Here's the one nobody's thought of, evidence collection. Because the device is WOPM (Write once, play many), police departments will be able to use it in their digital cameras, camcorders, etc. This makes it much more difficult for someone to say "The photos/tape was doctored" when you can show them the images direct from a WOPM source.

unless they really make the modules so cheap they're practically giving them away

I believe that's what they're envisioning. From the article..."The company envisions its chips being cheap enough to be sold in multipacks at grocery checkout counters". Wow, an 8 pack of 64 meg memory modules for the same price as a pack of batteries? Even one for the same price as a pack of batteries would be worth the cost.

I formally declare this a good thing. But don't take my word for it, read the article yourself.

Re:write once? umm... no thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2732210)

"This makes it much more difficult for someone to say "The photos/tape was doctored" when you can show them the images direct from a WOPM source."

And the reason why they couldn't have extracted it from the original WOPM source, edited it and loaded it back into another one is, exactly?

Re:write once? umm... no thanks. (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732461)

The device saving the image/data would digitally sign it using a built-in key. This key would be unique for each device, and unextractable to all extents and purposes. Thus the integrity and undoctored nature of images stored on this media would be assured.

Of course, you could use a DVD-R drive the same way and get 9.4GB of storage.

Re:write once? umm... no thanks. (1)

shaka999 (335100) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732381)

It will have its applications but certainly not in the digital camera/mp3 player market.

The advantage of the digital camera is that you can take a crap load of pictures to get a few good ones. You delete the others. Why would I want to start paying per picture again? Yes I have to back things up but thats only pictures I choose to keep.

Same things can be said for most digital devices consumer devices.

Wow... (1)

junkgui (69602) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731927)

How many time will we hear about this? How many times will it be posted to slashdot without any one thinking... I wonder if this is the same story as... hmmm... that one a week ago...

Misleading... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731943)

The big news is not what's in the title. They've had large write-once memories before; they're called PROMs(Programmable read-only memories). The news is that they supposedly have a new 3-D fabrication technique.

Using a 3-D fabrication method that deposits layers of circuits with a modified CMOS process, the technique can yield nine to 10 times the amount of chips per a given wafer, providing a cost advantage over traditional flash memory, according to Matrix (Santa Clara, Calif.).

Perhaps in the future your processor will be the size and shape of a die or cube of cheese.

New Intel Marketing? (4, Funny)

Havokmon (89874) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731979)

Perhaps in the future your processor will be the size and shape of a die or cube of cheese.

Behold, the power of Cheesium 886.

Someone explain why this is a good thing? (3, Insightful)

skoda (211470) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731963)

Why should we care about this?

- Write Once Memory: CD-ROM is 10x larger, and is very cheap. DVD-ROM will eventually be about 100x larger.

- Solid-state storage for Digital Cameras: Write-Many memory chips are readily available. They are expensive, but reusable. Will this write-once chip be cheap enough to make it worth while? Or are these chips much smaller, making this interesting to travelers?

- Computer Memory: Obviously not useful there (I don't see a market ofr single-use computers :)

Is there other info about this memory, showing why this is of any use?

Re:Someone explain why this is a good thing? (2, Funny)

bn557 (183935) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732191)

You ever scratch a CD? You ever scratch a DVD?

Both types of media are great for what they do, but imagine it being a little cartridge(think nintendo here) that you pop in the front and it works great. Yeah, I'm sure that 10 years after it's use you'll have to do your special voodoo to make it work, but that's the way my DVD player is getting.

On a side note, this looks VERY promising for console gaming. The speed of a cartride with the capacity of a CD.


Re:Someone explain why this is a good thing? (2)

skoda (211470) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732413)

But again, I wonder why I want this?

Cartridges have their own problems (size, weight, breakable connectors). Plus, Nintendo was the lone cartridge holdout with the N64. But now even they have gone to an optical disc medium. Why? Because capacity is vastly larger than cartridges and cost is much less.

How does this WO memory change that balance? Is the storage there? Is the cost low enough?

Re:Someone explain why this is a good thing? (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732489)

The real point is where are these 1cm^2 DVDs that people are talking about here? When this device gets made at 0.13u, it could hold 256MB on a single small chip.

Embed this device inside an earring with 20 hours of digital record capability powered by body heat.

The uses are myriad. As someone said, instant access large capacity cartridges on the cheap. 4 of these chips on a small card providing 1GB of storage with >100MB/s read bandwidths?

No, it isn't a solution to your RAM needs, or rewritable needs. But it is a solution to many other areas. If a 64MB chip costs $3 to buy with interface to hardware (e.g., USB plug) then that is a lot of high quality photos that won't get accidentally erased after your holiday.

Re:Someone explain why this is a good thing? (1)

Dante Aliegri (119831) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732407)

Why should we care?
1) random access
2) they're going to be quite a bit cheaper than the write-many chips that mp3/digial cameras use.
Thus, people were talking about how things like palm still need new version, etc..
with that, the actual OS can go on a 64M chip ( pretty damn big for palm standards ) and when an upgrade comes out, you get palm to ship you a new chip for $5.

Also, they did mention that heat what was preventing them from adding more layers.
so when fab size goes down, more layers can be added.Not bad.

Sigh ... (3, Funny)

Wordsmith (183749) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731980)

"See, I knew it: Little is better."

Which girls have you been arguing this with, anyway?

Re:Sigh ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2732147)

Probably those IRC Girls. [] For some reason all of them say size doesn't matter. Even the ones that aren't fat/ugly. Of course the psychotic cute ones are the worst.

"write once chip"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731994)

Isn't that just an EPROM? What's the big deal? 64MB EPROM woooo!

Hmm.. where did I see this story before? Slashdot! (0, Redundant)

psychofox (92356) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732050)

Exactly the same story available at 25 1

AOL (2, Funny)

mrroot (543673) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732076)

Imagine how much money AOL could save in shipping if they could mail you a tiny chip instead of a CD!

Re:AOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2732490)

yea... right.... it would actually be cheaper for the CD-ROM. duh.

More info at their website (5, Informative)

Myco (473173) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732098)

The article is a bit lacking on consumer-relevant details, but the marketese on their site [] gives you a better idea of that stuff.


  • Price: "Matrix 3DM cards will be comparable in cost to 35mm film and work in a similar fashion"
  • Longevity: "Matrix 3-D Memory's array structure results in an archival storage device capable of storing data for more than 100 years."
  • Scaling up: "By leveraging the same infrastructure as the rest of the industry, Matrix 3-D Memory will scale at least as fast as other semiconductor technologies, maintaining its significant cost advantage with future process generations."
  • Compatibility: "Interchangeable with re-writeable flash cards"
  • Capacity: "Comparable cost per megabyte to optical and magnetic storage"

cool.. write only memory at last ;-) (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732155)

this time not random access [] though

The yawn factor (1)

Archanagor (303653) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732189)

"Yawn Factor" (Yon-Fak-tur) n: The realisation that the product being showcased in an article registers as barely exciting.

Hmm. Fits this. Whee, a 64MB PROM. Big Flappin Deal.

So, just exactly how useful is this miracle device? About as useful as 1/10 of a CD-R. Probably less than that.

I'm trying to think of something to make this little gem exciting. I just can't. Er. Maybe we could have 512MBIT SNES cartridges now?

Really, I think I'll stick with my 64M compact flash card.

Maybe they'll find some cheap interactive toy to stuff this miracle invention in. I can't think of the use for it, when CD-Rs are so prevalent.

Price too high (1)

FloatingBlimp (411523) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732198)

A photography magazine says that Matrix intends to sell read only memory for digital cameras at half the writable price. Conclusion: they will only sell a limited amount for the direct consumer market. Their only hope is to target security related markets were everything should be traceable.

The gap into storage... (2)

bourne (539955) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732263)

Sounds like Stephen R. Donaldson had something going when he described datacores in the Gap series. []

If you can jack one of these things up into giga, tera, or larger ranges, then you can start using it to provide write-once history logging. Big brother, black boxes, personal recorders...

This is old technology (1)

puz (222978) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732266)

This is old technology with new marketing. The technology is called OTP ROM and has been available for over 20 years. During development time of a product, engineers want to use UV-erasable PROMs. But once you release it to manufacturing, there is no need to erase the ROM. So the idea is to put an identical die with the same electrical and speed characteristics in two different packages, ceramic, and plastic. The UV-erasable ones have a crystal window and are packaged in ceramic enclosure, which is very expensive. The one-time programmable ones don't have a window and are packaged in plastic, which are very low-cost.

universal-ness (1)

kresmoi (542683) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732317)

all of this is very well an good, but what i keep seeing is [new] products that, even when they are better than the old standard, cheaper, etc, they are not adopted because there are way too many new options to choose from and none of them can be as 'universal' as the current standard. Case in point: any alternative to floppy drives. also, any competitor to Windows and/or MS Office. So we stick with something that is inferior because we've never done anything new and besides, everybody else is still doing it too.

I love expressions of human individuality.

Taco.... (0, Redundant)

jmenezes (100986) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732484)

See, I knew it: Little is better.

Taco, are you trying to tell us something we don't want to know?
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