My Kingdom for More Memory…

The future of storage...

As we all know from our Shakespearean readings that in the play, “Richard the III” we find that our hero “Richard” is soon unhorsed on the field at the climax of the battle!  Here he cries out, “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!”, yet Richmond dispatches (kills) Richard in the final duel which leads to his subsequent rise to the throne as Henry VII.

Stealing away with this, it’s clear that all kingdoms in the future will be based upon memory as the rate of information growth is exponential and top of this portability is key.  As here I’ve waxed in past posts about new technology including the memsitor.

Yet today what caught my eye was an announcement by Intel and Micron’s joint venture IMFT that it has produced a 128Gb die. Alright, 128 Gb is pretty good sized as the top of line (size wise) jump drive or USB stick is around 32 Gb.  As here a package combining eight such “dies” together will be small enough to fit on a fingertip and achieve this jump in storage up to 128GB in capacity and devices using the new dies are likely to start shipping as soon as 2013.

So how did they do this?  Well it wasn’t magic pixie dust as most think; instead it’s a 20nm die which is amazing.  As we’ve waxed here before about the use of multi-level cell (MLC) technology in a prior post.  As with MLC, each individual flash cell which is the smallest flash unit, responsible for storing just a single value can be set to one of several different values—in most cases, four different values.  This in turn creates the equivalent to two bits which allows MLC to support greater data density.  So far the only downside in the first gen chips is the MLC designed flash can typically withstand only a few thousand erasures, whereas [regular] SLC can tolerate tens of thousands.

However when the chips using the new 20 nm dies do hit the market, they should allow  standard 2.5″ drives to reach  up to 2 TB, and the smaller memory stick format which is used in both Ultrabooks and the MacBook Air to hold up to 1 TB.  Just imagine a 1 TB iPad, this amount of portable data will be a game changer.

Can’t seem to wait, well you are not alone as we will get the first taste much sooner in that IMFT has also announced that it had started mass production of a smaller 64Gb 20nm die and should be out in consumer products in 2012…

Hint:  The more available memory, the greater the need for content to fill as Campbell’s axiom says content will always grow to fill the memory which exists to contain it…

About Joseph Campbell

As a strong believer in the fact that "people work for people", it has been a life driver to better to understand the complexities of the various aspects which drive efficiency within this axiom, especially the concepts of leadership. Supporting this, I have been fortunate enough to having experienced this as leader on a global basis over the last decade and half. During this time it has been clear there are three core drivers being Life, Leadership and Economics.
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