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Samsung Develops 16Gb Flash Memory

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the no-moving-parts-means-more-flavour dept.

Data Storage 290

nofrance writes "As promised earlier this year, Samsung has unveiled the world's first 16-gigabit flash memory chip. These chips, when combined in a 16x16 configurations, will allow 32 GigaByte flash cards. Using 50-nanometer manufacturing technology, these chips will be in production by the second half of 2006, with Samsung promising that their 32Gb team will impress next year." From the article: "According to the company, the cell size of the fingernail-sized flash chip has been reduced about 25 percent from that of the 60 nm 8 Gbit NAND: The new 50 nm flash memory contains cells that measure 0.00625 square microns per bit. The 16 Gbit device holds 16.4 billion functional transistors, Samsung said. "

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Bussin (0, Troll)

cmdrTacyo (899875) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537177)

I keep it poppin like samsung
Hoes be like tacyo you're so hung
Pull out my dick and you mama's toast
Only picked her up cause I got almost first post
So I keep rappin and rhymin
Spit ill raps pimp slashdot hoes with mad-timin

iPod nano (1)

Abit667 (745465) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537184)

iPod nano Xtreme!

All your pr0n on one chip! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13537186)

Although I would probably need at least 20..

Sounds good for cell phones (0, Redundant)

ReformedExCon (897248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537187)

With storage capacity becoming a big issue on the newer, more powerful cell phones, this flash memory comes in at just the right time.

For everyone who wants to buy Apple, this type of memory will be very nice for your Rokr. For everyone else, it'll be nice for your MP3 player phones.

Re:Sounds good for cell phones (1)

demondawn (840015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537241)

Haven't you been reading Slashdot? The Rokr FAILED.

Re:Sounds good for cell phones (2, Funny)

tabkey12 (851759) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537274)


Haven't you been reading Slashdot? The Rokr FAILED.
No WiMax. Less songs than a shuffle. Lame.

Re:Sounds good for cell phones (2, Insightful)

tabkey12 (851759) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537244)

Except that, due to idiotic manufacturers' policies, you will probably only be able to have 100 songs on your 8GB Flash Card, and then not be able to use them as ring tones...

Re:Sounds good for cell phones (4, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537257)

Never has a rush for a quasi-legitimate first post been more transparent. Would this "type of memory" be good for my digital camera? Why yes, it would! How about for USB keys! OMG, it would there too!

Of course the storage size issue really isn't that huge of an issue anymore - I have an inexpensive 1GB flash card in my 8MP digital camera, and I always transfer pictures for other reasons before I do it to clear space. This will eventually put downward pressure on the smaller capacities, but already they're low enough that it isn't a huge issue.

The real question is what new markets will open up as Flash memory super-sizes - will we replace our laptop hard drives anytime soon? Would we want to?

Hmmm... (5, Funny)

bobalu (1921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537188)

guess I should hold off on that Apple iPod nano, eh?

Re:Hmmm... (2, Funny)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537271)

ha!
That is nothing compared to the 256 GB USB disk from AtomChip(c) corporation! [howstuffworks.com]

Of course it is available only with the 6.8 Ghz computer!

more seriously however (2, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537333)

Will the Nano be upgradable? that is, was the chip oldered in or is in in there in a stadard flash drive socket. If so did apple or the CPU maker, cripple the nano's address range? if not buy that nano now and upgrade it next year. On the other hand the Nano sells for about $30 bucks more than the retail price of the 4Gb NAND chip. Son unless you can buy it below wholesale like apple, you'll be better off buying a new Nano when the 32 GB ones roll out.

Re: Yes & No! (5, Informative)

tabkey12 (851759) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537381)

Firstly, it's 16 Gigabit, not Gigabyte, so you won't be seeing a 32GB Nano any time soon.

Next, the 2GB has Toshiba Flash Memory Soldered to the board, whereas the 4GB has a daughterboard with 2x2GB Samsung chips. Therefore, it is possible that someone will reelase an upgrade to the 4GB Nano at some point in the future, but Apple may well have disabled support in the (closed) Nano sofware for flash support above 4GB in the current generation.

Re: Yes & No! (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537450)

I might be missing something here. 16Gb is 2GB. There are 2GB flash chips already shipping in the iPod Nano. This is the first 2GB flash chip. Either this is very old news, or the important thing is the size of the chip rather than the fact it exists.

Re: Yes & No! (1)

swingkid (3585) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537473)

I think the 2GB modules in the nano consist of multiple flash chips, like on a RAM stick; meaning that a similar module with these new chips would be several times larger. But I'm just guessing...

Re: Yes & No! (2, Interesting)

Thalagyrt (851883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537465)

The person who wrote TFA said it's both 16 GByte and 16 Gbit. Read it, you'll see that both are used throughout the article. So we'll never know which one it is.

Re: Yes & No! (1)

Thalagyrt (851883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537501)

Actually, nevermind that... Just re-read it and I misread part of it before.

Re: Yes & No! (1)

Itchy Rich (818896) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537541)

The person who wrote TFA said it's both 16 GByte and 16 Gbit. Read it, you'll see that both are used throughout the article. So we'll never know which one it is.

The only mention of anything being 16 gigabytes rather than 16 gigabits says the chips "if combined in 8x16 and 16x16 configurations - theoretically enable Flash memory cards with capacities of 16 and 32 GByte".

There are no other mentions of 16 gigabytes, but there are four mentions of 16 gigabits.

But does it run Linux? (5, Funny)

A Dafa Disciple (876967) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537189)

FTA:
The 16Gbit device holds 16.4 billion functional transistors

Woah, that's a relief. I was afraid that I might be buying a device with billions of non-functional or even disfunctional transistors.

Now that Samsung has distinguished this for me, from now on, I'm going to make sure all the devices I purchase have fully functional transistors.

Re:But does it run Linux? (5, Informative)

dsginter (104154) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537230)

Woah, that's a relief. I was afraid that I might be buying a device with billions of non-functional or even disfunctional transistors.

Just a note...

Flash is not perfect. It is typical for a small percentage of bits to be bad right off of the line. All of the devices contain error correction circuitry in order to compensate for bad bits. There are actually many more than 16.4 billion transistors on board. Many of them will be marked as bad, however.

16x16 configs (4, Funny)

42Penguins (861511) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537194)

Cue the "is that a 32GB pr0n flash card in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me" jokes.

iPod? duh (0, Redundant)

krails (7812) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537197)

Coming to an iPod near you....

Thumb drive? (3, Interesting)

Kainaw (676073) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537200)

Can this be put in an unpowered thumb drive? I feel it would be nice to have large, easily removable, USB storage that does not require external power. Right now, I store my accounting files on a 64MB stick that I can remove and take with me in an emergency much easier than taking my whole computer. The more room for backup, the better.

Re:Thumb drive? (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537238)

Wouldn't any USB 2.0 port be able to provide power for a drive such as this?

A 32GB Flash Card!?! (3, Funny)

IanthePez (701212) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537208)

That outta be enough for anybody!

Re:A 32GB Flash Card!?! (1)

Karma_fucker_sucker (898393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537248)

I was about to say the same thing about he 160GB 2.5" hard drives they mentioned in TFA.

Then I started thinking about some products that could use that amount of space; until fibre starts getting into everyone's home and office, that is.

16 gigaBYTE, not gigaBIT (0)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537219)

When will people learn? It's not gigabit, but gigabyte. GB, not Gb.

16 Gbit is eight times less than 16 Gbyte.

Re:16 gigaBYTE, not gigaBIT (5, Informative)

cosinezero (833532) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537252)

Yes, but individual memory chips often do not come rated in bytes but in bits and are configured in parallel to complete the byte. Hence "16x16 config" making 32GB.

Re:16 gigaBYTE, not gigaBIT (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13537291)

Uhm, the story is about 16Gb (Gigabit) chips. When talking about capacity of memory chips, bits are used instead of bytes.

"16 Gbit is eight times less than 16 Gbyte."

Yes, that why you need 32 of these chips to get 32GB capacity.

Re:16 gigaBYTE, not gigaBIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13537517)

Correct me but: isn't 16 gigabit = 2 gigabyte. So 16 chips are needed to get 32GB capacity.

Also, a "16x16 configuration" is 256 chips, which gives 512GB, not 32BG.

Re:16 gigaBYTE, not gigaBIT (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13537316)

No. Each chip is 16 gigaBITs. In a 16x16 grid of these flash chips, you'll have 32 gigaBYTEs of storage.

Re:16 gigaBYTE, not gigaBIT (5, Informative)

DigitumDei (578031) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537334)

Err, it is Gb. The individual chips are rated in Gigabits, and only the final 16 chip products in gigabytes.

Thus the 16 Gb chip is 2GB and when you have 16 of those you get, you guessed it, 32GB.

Re:16 gigaBYTE, not gigaBIT (1)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537372)

Yes, but that's not what the news said before it was edited. :) Now it's okay, so my post is just useless now.

Re:16 gigaBYTE, not gigaBIT (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537377)

Yep, and suddenly find out that your 64Kb iButton fits 8 kilobytes of data, then find out it actually is 64 kilobits...
Sorry, whoever modded the above "informative" has no clue. Chip memory capacites are given in bits, not bytes.
The chip is 2 gigabytes.

Re:16 gigaBYTE, not gigaBIT (0, Troll)

l_bratch (865693) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537379)

I was going to point this out, but luckiy I RTFA first.

Call me when (3, Interesting)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537222)

Please let me know when we no longer need hard drives, and we no longer need to "boot" our PCs every time we switch them on.

Also drop me a line when we can store the world's music on a small memory cube and download it at the speed of light, virtually killing the RIAA overnight.

Amazing, the tech just keeps getting better and better.

Re:Call me when (5, Interesting)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537304)

Replacing disk with flash RAM is not feasible: flash isn't fast enough, and doesn't survive enough re-writes to the same blocks. Various tmp files, web caches, and frequently written logfiles would destroy the flash quite quickly the same way they used to be the most common failure points on hard drives. But for tunning a live DVD image of a full OS where writing to the drive doesn't normally occur, or doing OS installations from a USB drive instead of from a CD, this is absolutely fabulous.

There are some fascinating megnetic storage technologies in the works that might provide easily preserved live OS's that don't need that lengthy "bootstrap" procedure on every boot, but none have yet hit the commercial market.

Re:Call me when (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537455)

The parent did not mention flash.

Re:Call me when (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537353)

Well you can solve the first problem by buying an apple and never turning it off, just let it sleep.

The second one baffles me though. How do you plan on downloading a physical object at the speed of light?

Of course I do like the part about kill the RIAA. I haven't bought a CD in years. It's not out of dislike for the RIAA though, just because the music put out currently sucks.

Flash is unusable for a hard drive. (3, Interesting)

jasonhamilton (673330) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537451)

It's too slow.

It also has a finite number of writes that can be done before it quits working.

If you want your system to run faster, look at the gigabit ramdisk PCI cards that are coming out this month (?). Get four of those, a raid card, and hook them up together. Contents are kept even when the computer is switched off.

Re:Call me when (2, Funny)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537519)

and download it at the speed of light
The speed of light is measured in metres per second (~3*10^8 m.s^-1), not bits per second. Thus there is no correlation. This reminds me of taking a cirtain amount of parsecs to do the kessel run (yes, I've heard the dumb shortest path explainations), cirtain amount of lightyears between events and a reference to travelling back in time at the speed of light I saw in an old Hanna-Barbara cartoon. Can't people get their units right?

The question... (1)

demondawn (840015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537223)

...at this point, is not really so much of making 32GB flash drives. Maybe I just don't see the application, but unless this is really competitive, costwise, with traditional hard drives, it seems impractical. As far as I know, most solid-state computing devices have no need for 32 GB of space. While interesting from a theoretical standpoint, storage media of this type seem to be inordinately expensive when compared with the average hard drive.

Re:The question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13537240)

*cough* Apple *cough*

Re:The question... (2, Informative)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537264)

Camera for video/etc. An audio recorder..

At 2Mbit/sec [250KB/sec] ~34 hours of recording with no moving parts other than the shutter. Current video recorders don't last super long on batteries and reporters in the field have to lug them around [or have their camera crew do that].

If they could make it last a while [e.g. handle wear] you could use it as a laptop hard drive. I probably wouldn't run Gentoo on it [unless /var/tmp was mounted in a ram drive] but you could get away with a binary only Gentoo/Debian install just fine.

And in most laptops the harddrive is the second most waste of energy anyways. So while making the CPU take less power you can make the storage take less too.

Granted I wouldn't use this where I was doing many re-writes or needed quick writes. But for a normal user [e.g. email, web, im, word processing] it's more than adequate.

Tom

Re:The question... (1)

ocelotbob (173602) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537293)

Your sig is appropriate to what the most ideal purpose for thse drives is. Mobile computing. Motors are one of the biggest consumers of electricity in modern mobiles. Replacing the hard drive with a solid state drive would increase battery life noticably, plus increase the ruggedness of a laptop. This would be a godsend for fleet purposes.

Re:The question... (1)

demondawn (840015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537364)

But isn't there still the issue of wear (the fact that solid state drives can handle a much shorter lifespan in terms of rewrites than your average hard drive?) Not to mention cost?

Re:The question... (1)

ocelotbob (173602) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537445)

Cost is definitely an issue, however, thie problem of them wearing out can be mitigated with more intelligent filesystem designs that distribute writing to the disk so that cells are used evenly. I know there is some FS work going on in the Linux camp about these sort of modifications. Alternatively, one could have a small microdrive for their data files, and have program binaries, etc, which don't usually change on the flash drive to take advantage of both technologies.

Re:The question... (1)

Tune (17738) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537361)

I suppose not having any moving parts in your laptop has its merits:
- No noise (vs. low noise)
- More tolerant to physical stress
- Longer batery life due to less power consumption (while reading, no spin-up/spin down latency)

Eventually, solid state will replace mechanical storage in anything portable, and demands for higher capacity will obviously remain.

--
The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much

Re:The question... (1)

Peregr1n (904456) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537394)

I see the application.
We're always wanting more and more storage. I use a digital SLR camera and I will certainly buy a 32GB, or whatever size, card as soon as it becomes affordable; at the moment I carry round several 1GB cards, so I will always need bigger and better memory.
And it's also worth noting that while flash storage media of this type may be expensive compared to microdrives, they are far more stable (I never use microdrives for my photography because dropping the camera will almost certainly break them permanently, while solid state flash memory can go through floods, fires, crashes and digestory systems and come through readable...)
And I can think of a dozen more applications to boot. Portable video players for one.

Re:The question... (1)

VolciMaster (821873) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537408)

media of this type seem to be inordinately expensive when compared with the average hard drive

True, but there are no moving parts, and it's really, really fast... much faster than hard drives can be made to be since they have to spin.

Re:The question... (1)

pruss (246395) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537485)

Movies for portable devices... One could store 60 divx movies at a decent quality level (assuming one lives in a place where this is legal) and view them on a portable device, with much better battery life than a hard drive.

whatever happened to regular RAM? (4, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537227)

When I look at local computer parts prices, DRAM has been stuck at the $100 / GB range for three years now. Flash passed its price point earlier this year and is not looking back. I used to marvel at how RAM prices used to drop. (Flash is slower and can only be written a limited number (1E5) of times.)

Re:whatever happened to regular RAM? (1, Funny)

Rinzai (694786) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537273)

1E5 is ... 1. Damn.

And before you jump all over my case... (1)

Rinzai (694786) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537306)

I read "E" as "exponent," not "times 10 to the."

So that makes it 1^5, which is still 1.

If you want to write 10,000, why not just write 10,000? (Geekdom is one thing, readability is another, and better, thing.)

Re:whatever happened to regular RAM? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537290)

DRAM is MUCH faster than flash. Thus it's harder to make and keep in spec.

I'm sure if you could buy PC27-whatever memory you could get gigs at pennies each... but what's the point?

This chip has more than a billion transistors. You could just as easily ask why an AMDX2 with only 150M transistors costs so much...

When flash memory supports nanosecond writes like DDR we'll start seeing expensive flash.

Tom

Re:whatever happened to regular RAM? (1)

hhghghghh (871641) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537459)

I'm sure if you could buy PC27-whatever memory you could get gigs at pennies each... but what's the point?

Actually, cheap PC133 SDRAM + battery = still faster than hard drive (1066MB/s vs 150Mb/s plus no seektime), and almost as non-volatile as flash.

So perhaps DRAM isn't too bad compared to flash..

Re:whatever happened to regular RAM? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537490)

Nobody made PC133 [SDRAM] dense enough to be useful for this.

I'm sure with todays technology a 20GiB "drive" could be made with PC133 cells for cheap if done in enough volume.

And yes, it would be cool [both figuratively and literally].

Tom

A mix between price fixing and hitting bottom. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13537529)

With bottom being a combination of how cheap they can manufactorer the stuff with current processes and the profit margin they're willing to live with.

Samsung (1)

chowhound (136628) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537236)

My RAZR has something pitiful like 3mb storage. It's the only thing that irks me about it.

Though gigs and gigs wouldn't convince me to buy a Samsung phone. They're like toy mobiles -- cute, simple, feature-light.

Re:Samsung (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537331)

I wonder why the hell these toys don't include SD/CF card readers. Tiny removable storage, up to 2GB or so, don't need it - don't use it (and don't pay for it), speeds perfectly sufficient for stuff like MP3, and if you want more music, just buy a few more cards.

Re:Samsung (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13537351)

That's the price you pay to be trendy.

2step plan to having more memory on you fingertips (4, Funny)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537258)

Step 1: Pull out fingernails
Step 2: put fingernailsized flash memorychip on place of fingernail

Now just a way to power them up and use them. Any ideas

Ow (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537324)

Wouldn't it be better to just glue it on or something?

Re:Ow (2, Funny)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537475)

I thought of that. The problem is, is that my fingernails are pretty much curved, making it tough to glue anything on it. My guess is, is that the base of the nail is flatter, so pulling them out would be the way to go.
Then again, the flat base concerns a guess, so maybe I should start with one nail only.

Re:2step plan to having more memory on you fingert (1)

swilly2006 (845163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537388)

You left one out...
Step 3: Profit

Re:2step plan to having more memory on you fingert (1)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537456)

Hum, I more or less thought step 0 or 1b would be missed:
0. Inject lidocaine in fingertips and wait until you can not feel anything with it anymore
or 1b
1b. Scream in excrutiating pain.

Re:2step plan to having more memory on you fingert (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537502)

Now just a way to power them up and use them. Any ideas

Well you could use body heat, but you don't want to know where you have to put that finger to get the most efficient heating.

Price... (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537259)

Sure stuff may be -smaller- now. But what about cheaper? Will it cost less than equivalent in smaller chips? As for memory density, 1 or 2GB SD cards are quite tiny already, stuffing the same technology in volume of a harddrive (well, CD-ROM maybe) would allow for a terabyte of solid state storage easily. But the price and speed are somewhat beyond reach... I really wish for CHEAP flash more than for BIG flash.

Re:Price... (1, Insightful)

aXis100 (690904) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537430)

Whist the BIG flash may be more expensive, it will put downward pressure on the smaller flash sizes thus reducing prices.

All computer technology has a pricing sweat spot just a few revisions back from the bleeding egde. As big, expensive stuff comes out, that sweet spot moves forward.

I don't understand (0, Redundant)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537261)

so should I wait to buy the iPod nano or not?

Re:I don't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13537318)

I would say if you think 4GB is enough for your day to day music listening, go ahead and buy the nano. If it just isn't enough, wait for the bigger models to come.

Re:I don't understand (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537441)

They have only just released the iPod nano, so I can't see Apple releasing a new one immediatly. Also, this new Flash memory has only just been released, so experience indicates that first batches of anything usually have more teething issues than future batches.

Awesome Quantic Technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13537266)


  This must be a John Titor's quantic functional transistor desing.

Weee (-1, Offtopic)

borix (913092) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537278)

Hello remar, this is not a first post !

Thanks for the haircut! (-1, Offtopic)

Karma_fucker_sucker (898393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537352)

That went over my head so fast that it took off a few. Thanks!

It's a Cyberpunk future for me (1)

kid_oliva (899189) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537280)

I guess I should be amazed but to me its seems common sense. Imagne, an implant that you store data on and access any time you want. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that it is inside your head. Now that will be the way to study. Download a few books, wait what am I saying... porn and away you go. Alot of people are scarried of the future but I say plug away; I'll be the first inline (no pun intended).

Hard drive industry vs Flash card industry (3, Interesting)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537286)

Maxtor, Seagate, Hitachi, Western Digital and all the other storage companies better listen to what Samsung is doing here. Life is good when you are sitting in front of a really fast computer, but it's rather disturbing that the hard drives (and media players i.e. DVD) still operate at milliseconds instead of nanoseconds.

Has anyone thought about why hard drive development is so focused at increasing disk space by using similar technology and nothing beyond that? I mean, come on, this tech has been around for ages and you'd kind of want a solid replacement (read: no moving parts, nanosecond operation times).

Who knows what we'll see next in terms of hard drives AND WHEN?

Re:Hard drive industry vs Flash card industry (5, Informative)

karvind (833059) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537539)

I am not sure if you understand the difference in technologies here. First of all it is 16 Gbit and not Gbyte (and next year it will be 32 Gbit). To compete with regular harddisks you are talking about making atleast 80 GByte harddrives.

(a) Do a cost analysis. Even if they shrink the gatelength to 25 nm (which will not happen because FLASH memories WILL not work at 25 nm gate lenght, regular transistors will), you will be still be limited to say 100 GBit. Yield is another issue which will drive cost. Debugging such large memory arrays is NOT trivial.

(b) Reading mechanism for FLASH memories is different from Harddisks. Larger the memory arrays, slower it becomes. Make arrays smaller ? You will have lot of peripheral overhead which will drive your cost up. Why is peripheral hard to make ? Because peripherals are made in regular CMOS technology as compared to FLASH technology - integrating them together is a pin in the ass. This is one place which requires more improvement, the memory controller on the FLASH chips is still slow (even if access time from the individual cell is fast).

(c) Will 25 nm FLASH be any faster ? Not necessarily. The gate length scales, but interconnect capacitance doesn't. Smaller transistors will have smaller parasitic capacitance but they may not be necessrily able to drive the long bit/word lines. Solution : Make individual cells bigger. What do you lose ? Your memory becomes bigger.

In short there is a reason why magnetic HDD will stay. Yes there are applications where 10-20GB is enough, but not everywhere. That is why digital MP3s are swept by FLASH based drives. And don't forget that FLASH drives have rated endurance of 100,000 write/erase. Do you want such a thing for your laptop ? probably not.

That's Nothin' (4, Funny)

Analogy Man (601298) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537294)

Just last week I saw an article 6.8 GHZ Laptop [slashdot.org] That had a 2 TB flash...

But then 32GB appears to be fabricated by conventional means rather the new unobtanium substrates used by AtomChip.

Cool! (0)

krunchyfrog (786414) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537297)

Now *more* of my my pr0n collection can follow me anywhere!

OT: Trolls needed (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13537321)

Trolls needed to help destroy Microsoft's Channel Nine forums:

http://channel9.msdn.com/ [msdn.com] [msdn.com]

Please help us up the noise-to-signal level! Troll hard, troll fast!

functional? (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537335)

So how many non functional transistors did they put on it?

With a 4gb microdrive I get 540 images (5, Interesting)

purduephotog (218304) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537349)

I shoot weddings. With my 10D I get approximately 540 images, RAW, written to the MD. I'll usually pound thru 4 batteries (2x2) in the course of a day event; I have 6 spares.

Assuming I win the lotto and/or can reinvest some of the wedding profit towards a camera instead of my leaking roof, I would move up to a 1Ds, selling for 3K, which writes out 11mb RAW files.

That means a 32gb CF card would store: 2400 images

Your typical wedding/reception lasts 7 hours. Add a couple of the bridesmaids getting dressed (You do NOT want to miss that, HAHAHA) and you're at a 10 hour day.

That means you're taking a frame about every 15 seconds, were you to fill that up.

Cost of film? Let's say you're shooting 35MM instead of medium format (arguably a 1DS is a little less in terms of quality than a Hassy at 16x20, but the customer would probably never see it) then thats 67 rolls of film. A propack of 400NC from BH Photo is 28.45 for 5 rolls, which translates 14 packs at a cost of 400$.

Plus processing, tack on about 10$ per roll and you're at $1000 worth of money.

Where am I going?

No one shoots 3K worth of photos. It's insane. It's insane by even MY standards. But on a trip it's definately worth it to have... and I'm not even adressing the transfer rate issues (my firewire transfer from CF is the fastest in the market at 7MB/sec that would take about 1.25hrs to transfer)

This is an incredible leap forward but the biggest advantage will be the price pressuer on lower sized cards.

After all, drop one of these babies and you're out a pretty penny.

Re:With a 4gb microdrive I get 540 images (4, Interesting)

Albanach (527650) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537484)

Cost of film? Let's say you're shooting 35MM instead of medium format (arguably a 1DS is a little less in terms of quality than a Hassy at 16x20, but the customer would probably never see it) then thats 67 rolls of film. A propack of 400NC from BH Photo is 28.45 for 5 rolls, which translates 14 packs at a cost of 400$.

But no one would ever shoot that sort of number of shots if they were shooting film - it's crazy. Digital cameras have created shot inflation in the wedding market. Folk advertise 300, 400 or 500 pictures in their wedding packages and the customers who don't know think that more is better.

It's not as if weddings days are fast moving affairs. So you're right, where this will shine is on things like overseas trips, safaris, and maybe even for photo journalists who might not know when they'll next be able to dump the files on their camera to a decent backup medium.

You're right: Divide by 3 (1)

purduephotog (218304) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537544)

3x is typically the image increase that you see transitioning to digital, so divide my numbers by three and you'll get accurate film usage :)

Re:With a 4gb microdrive I get 540 images (1)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537525)

I took one of those tourist helicopter tours around Niagara falls on Saturday. The trip lasted about 15 minutes and my little Canon S70 filled up 2GB of memory shooting RAW.

Sure, most of the images were junk (deformation from the curved window pane, dirt on the windshield, etc.) but about 1 in 5 shorts came out well.

Found myself wishing I had both a faster camera and far more memory so I could turn on exposure bracketing.

I figure if I take enough shots, eventually I will accidentally get a good one.

Nice, but I'll wait for the 500 terrabyte flash (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537367)

16GB is not enough...speed up the curve please

Unfortunately... (1)

TimTheFoolMan (656432) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537368)

...instead of being called a "thumb drive," the relative size increase will force USB drive manufacturers to start marketing the much heralded "stump drive," and the much-less popular "double-stump dongle" version.

Tim

My laptop could be thinner than my keys! (1)

mrch0mp3rs (864814) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537375)

Marvelling at the iPod nano, this makes me wonder about the usability of a nano-thin laptop. I mean, at some point, you need the actual keyboard depth for tactile reasons, don't you?

I'm all for a 2-pound 17" widescreen aluminum Powerbook that's under an inch thick (is it even thick then?) -- as long as I have a decent keyboard so I can launch all my attacks with confidence in World of Warcraft.

Poor man's solid state hard drive? (3, Interesting)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537380)

Has anyone taken a bunch of the already available monster flash drives and built a PC on them?

I'm thinking 4x USB2 card readers (these are down to like $10 on eBay) each containing 8GB compactflash in a RAID-0 configuration = 32GB solid state storage that might not incur too bad a performance penalty.

With something like a 32GB compactflash, you could potentially create a 120GB RAID-0 with them.

Do CF cards have the reliability factor to act as primary storage? How about USB2 as the interface? I don't know enough about either set of specs to make a judgment.

Ready for desktop? (1)

Hao Wu (652581) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537382)

Perhaps this could go into desktop machines.

Of course it would have to be left on with a tiny amount of power, and automatic backups...

Re:Ready for desktop? (2, Informative)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537421)

Problem is, flash cards don't work quite as well as regular hard drives because you cannot flash them with consistent information all the time. I am not sure about what these chips can handle nowadays, but a couple of years back, such memory could be flashed about 10,000 times and that's it.

OT: Trolls needed (-1, Offtopic)

channel9 (914285) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537401)

Trolls needed to help destroy Microsoft's Channel Nine forums: http://channel9.msdn.com/ [msdn.com] [msdn.com] [msdn.com] [msdn.com] Please help us up the noise-to-signal level! Troll hard, troll fast!

In Library of Congress Units (3, Funny)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537407)

Just to translate for the masses, that comes to roughly .0032 LOCs (assuming 1 Library of Congress = 10 TB). Sometimes terms like "Giga Bytes" can get confusing.

iPod MANO (0, Redundant)

donnacha (161610) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537427)

Get ready for the iPod Mano - Man-sized storage in a Nano package.

Harddisk replacement (2, Insightful)

mnmn (145599) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537479)

Am I the only one who thought the harddisk could be repaced with this? A minimal windows + office install easily fits 16gb. Ideally with no swap file given enough ram. Additional software may be run off a shared folder.

And if the windows (or linux) installation contains enough drivers, you could have a USB2.0 flash drive with 16 or 32GB space and carry the whole os around.

I know this is easier with knoppix on usb, but I'm thinking big, with the current windows install base. This can do wonders for the corporate maintenance until linux is ready for the desktop.

32 GB flash card? (1)

teknopagan (912839) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537488)

And here I thought a 640k flash card ought to be enough for anybody.

where is the Samsung SDD, then?? (2, Interesting)

Tomasset (26814) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537489)

Around the end of May, there were several sites

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=23425 [theinquirer.net]
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Samsung-is-betting- on-Flash-disk-drives-2222.shtml [softpedia.com]

reporting that Samsung would be having a 16GB flash hard disk (SDD) available around August 2005. Has anyone seen those? I know for a very good reason that I would be insterested in installing one of those in my Powerbook: the joy of silence.

Prorated Profits (1)

Sublmnl (868393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537518)

If you haven't figured it out yet....let me explain. Hardware is much more advanced than software or for the consumer. This technology could have...probably should have been availble a few years ago. It is a smart move to stagger the release of technological advances for monetary gain.

For the pron conniseurs out there..."if you blow your load to quickly...," what do you have to gain?

Solid-state hard-drives (2, Informative)

chris_eineke (634570) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537548)

Can you imagine that? Hard-drives without spinning parts!

They will have to quadruple the throughput and we will have competitive hard-drives with seek rates to the order of nanoseconds. :D

You know, they could even replace CDs and DVDs:
- Data rate high enough for HD-DVD or BR quality
- Put them into a good plastic case (ala zip disks, but smaller)
- No scratches!

Sounds like the 21st century to me.

If Samsung plays its cards right, they can make some serious dough with that technology. We're almost there.

Giggidy-Giggidy
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