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Data Storage Media Hardware Technology

Samsung Develops 16Gb Flash Memory 290

Posted by Zonk
from the no-moving-parts-means-more-flavour dept.
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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Samsung Develops 16Gb Flash Memory

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  • Hmmm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by bobalu (1921) on Monday September 12, 2005 @08:22AM (#13537188)
    guess I should hold off on that Apple iPod nano, eh?
    • Re:Hmmm... (Score:3, Funny)

      by xtracto (837672)
      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!

    • by goombah99 (560566)
      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! (Score:5, Informative)

        by tabkey12 (851759) on Monday September 12, 2005 @08:44AM (#13537381) Homepage
        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! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday September 12, 2005 @08:53AM (#13537450) Journal
          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.
          • 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! (Score:2, Informative)

            by Splab (574204)
            You guys really should try at least to read the TFA. It says the chip is 16Gb, running in a configuration of 16x16 yielding 32GB (yeah, thats Bytes).

            (No I'm not new around here, but comeon, lets start a trend and at least read some of the posted stuff before bashing)
        • Re: Yes & No! (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Thalagyrt (851883)
          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 article, had you read it, clearly says GBytes. Maybe Samsung is making up a new industry term or something; but I'll assume they mean GigaByte.
          • Re: Yes & No! (Score:3, Interesting)

            by bhsx (458600)
            To clarify: Samsung has developed a process to create 16Gigabit(2GB) chips that when set in a 8(chips)X16(Gigabit) configuration yields a 16GB flash drive. The 16(chip)X16(Gigabit) configuration yields 32GB flash drives.
  • by A Dafa Disciple (876967) * on Monday September 12, 2005 @08:23AM (#13537189) Homepage
    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.
    • by dsginter (104154) on Monday September 12, 2005 @08:28AM (#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.
    • Functionalism (Score:3, Informative)

      by djupedal (584558)
      On hearing a heckler in the front row question his sanity, George Carlin replied... "Nice...I see you've been given the gift of a functional brain - please let us know when you unwrap it and take it out of the box."

      Ok, I'll spot you this one, but next time, do yourself a favor and pay attention during class...

      Functionalism has three distinct sources. [nyu.edu] First, Putnam and Fodor saw mental states in terms of an empirical computational theory of the mind. Second, Smart's "topic neutral" analyses led Armstro
    • I rather buy things that comes with fully functional battle stations!
  • by 42Penguins (861511) on Monday September 12, 2005 @08:23AM (#13537194)
    Cue the "is that a 32GB pr0n flash card in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me" jokes.
    • Not to rain on your parade, but there's a factor of 8 difference between Gb and GB. The article says Gb - gigabit... I'm not sure why Samsung feels compelled to discuss the things in terms of bits anyway, since no one else typically uses bits as a measure of capacity. Next thing you know, Samsung will be using the power-of-ten units to measure their flash memory capacity - like hard drives. If they are, their "16Gb" (16,000,000,000 bits) device sounds way more impressive than calling it a 1.8GB device,
      • Actually it is customary to talk about RAM chips in bits, not bytes. It is only when you chain them together into RAM modules that you switch to bytes.
    • by op12 (830015) on Monday September 12, 2005 @09:44AM (#13537765) Homepage
      Cue the "is that a 32GB pr0n flash card in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me" jokes.

      Either that's one big flash card, or that's one tiny.....nevermind.
  • Thumb drive? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kainaw (676073) on Monday September 12, 2005 @08:24AM (#13537200) Homepage Journal
    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? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RapmasterT (787426)

      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.

      Let me be the first to scoff at your miniscule sized 64MB stick. scoff, scoff, scoff. Please immediately upgrade to a 1GB (minimum) stick for no reason beyond bragging rights.

      But yes, the distinction of

  • by IanthePez (701212) on Monday September 12, 2005 @08:25AM (#13537208)
    That outta be enough for anybody!
  • Call me when (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Neo-Rio-101 (700494) on Monday September 12, 2005 @08:27AM (#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 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Monday September 12, 2005 @08:36AM (#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 (Score:3, Insightful)

        by iggymanz (596061)
        people have already used flash memory as system disks, who says you need tmp files, logfiles that are frequently written, or a web cache? All those things can be eliminated by configuration for Unix-like OS. I can put tmp files on a ram disk, I don't *need* to have a web cache on disk (or anywhere else), and I can choose what gets logged.
      • Re:Call me when (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)
        Having a couple of GB of battery-backed DRAM as a write cache would help extend the life of flash - store log files there and only write the changes once a day or so. As to speed, I think you are underestimating flash. Most time-critical reads from my hard disk are very small segments (usually 4KB), and seek time on a hard disk really sucks compared with solid state storage.
      • imagine combining a flash-based harddisk with a big RAM buffer for speeding up reads and a separate one for writes, the second one protected by a small rechargable battery or super-capacitor. The disk only commits to flash if it feels it is running out of power. This should easily outlive the 4-year lifespan of an average corporate laptop.
      • Someone ought to create a box where the OS binaries and frequently used apps are kept on a flash drive but where a secondary harddrive is used for temporary files, settings, documents, etc.

        In other words, put /bin /lib /usr/bin /usr/lib and /boot on the flash drive and /etc /tmp /var and /home on a hard drive.

      • It's easy. You have regular memory to power the computer, and the flash memory is the permanent storage. Make sure the computer has enough battery power to keep the RAM active for several hours, then once every 15 minutes you write the entire RAM contents to flash. Given that flash these days come with 1 million write cycles guaranteed, you can use the same flash memory for 28 years without a problem.
         
      • by Lagged2Death (31596) on Monday September 12, 2005 @12:26PM (#13539126)
        Replacing disk with flash RAM is not feasible: flash isn't fast enough, and doesn't survive enough re-writes to the same blocks.

        It's not only feasible, it's been done. [bitmicro.com] It's horrifically expensive, but it works. A "wear leveling" algorithm is used to ensure the same flash cells aren't erased and re-written continuously. Heck, even the flash keychain drives and digital camera cards do that. No, it probably won't hold up to as many write cycles as a magnetic disk will, but writes are much less common than reads, especially in some database and web applications. The drive doesn't need to last forever anyway, since the computer it's part of won't either. I've heard that these guys have had one of their flash drives on a continuous rewrite cycle for a few years now - no errors yet.

        Where do you get the notion that flash is slow? It's slow compared to RAM, but it's way faster than a hard disk. That's one of the selling points of these things.
        • And slow (Score:3, Informative)

          by achurch (201270)

          Where do you get the notion that flash is slow?

          Right here:

          /dev/sdf: (SD-card)
          Timing cached reads: 1584 MB in 2.00 seconds = 791.72 MB/sec
          Timing buffered disk reads: 20 MB in 3.20 seconds = 6.26 MB/sec

          /dev/sda: (regular hard disk)
          Timing cached reads: 1568 MB in 2.00 seconds = 784.12 MB/sec
          Timing buffered disk reads: 118 MB in 3.03 seconds = 38.92 MB/sec

    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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?

      • Re:Call me when (Score:2, Interesting)

        by wackywendell (852135)
        Actually, to nitpick...if you've ever learned much relativity (not that I know all that much), time is a dimension just like space, and you are traveling through it forwards at the speed of light, or if you are moving in space, very, very near to it. I know travelling through time at a speed doesn't make sense, but that is in a strange, glad-I'm-not-a-physicist-because-this-makes-no-sen se way the only measurement there is...
      • Can't people get their units right?
        I just got my unit right. Turns out all I needed was a shot of penicillin.
    • Getting closer. You can get flash drives that plug into a ATA connector (and maybe SATA). Some BIOS's support booting from USB/Firewire devices. You can fit everything needed to boot a Linux box, plus (probably) /bin, /lib, /usr/bin, ./usr/lib, and /etc on there.

      Probably a slower boot than off of the HD, but runs much quieter.

  • by peter303 (12292) on Monday September 12, 2005 @08:27AM (#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.)
    • 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
    • by MacGod (320762) on Monday September 12, 2005 @09:13AM (#13537566)

      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.)

      Demand. There just simply isn't the demand for that much RAM. It used to be that you could always use more, because new operating systems required it, and new games needed it, etc. But now, with Longhorn/Vista still en route, and given that Tiger's requirements are not much more than Panther's or even Jaguar's, the OSs aren't driving people to get that much more RAM. And games are becoming less and less of an issue on computers as consoles grab bigger pieces of the marketshare.

      In short, without the demand driving the competition, there simply isn't the incentive to drop prices that much. Flash, on the other hand, let's you work toward solid-state hard drives, bigger memory cards and MP3 players and so forth. So the demand still exists in that sector.

      • WTF?

        What are you talking about? Increased demand raises prices, decreased demand lowers prices. Likewise, weak demand in a market causes an increase in competition with its attendant reduction in prices. (Think about airfares after the 9/11 attacks: no demand = rock bottom prices.)

        Prices are high due to a lack of excess supply.

        A much better answer to the OP's question is that DRAM has reached an equilibrium point where the suppliers are able to charge a price low enough to discourage new entrants, beyond
  • by jurt1235 (834677) on Monday September 12, 2005 @08:31AM (#13537258) Homepage
    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
    • by tgd (2822)
      Wouldn't it be better to just glue it on or something?

      • Re:Ow (Score:2, Funny)

        by jurt1235 (834677)
        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.
    • 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.
  • by Vo0k (760020)
    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... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by aXis100 (690904)
      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.
  • 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
    • by karvind (833059) <karvind&gmail,com> on Monday September 12, 2005 @09:07AM (#13537539) Journal
      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.

      • 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.

        I didn't read the article (because this is Slashdot and it's not the done thing) but my reading of the summary (which is probably wrong; cf. Slashdot comment above) is that they have a 16 Gigabit chip that will be used in a 16 chip configuration giving 16x16 Gigabits = 256

  • by Analogy Man (601298) on Monday September 12, 2005 @08:35AM (#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.

  • So how many non functional transistors did they put on it?
  • by purduephotog (218304) <hirsch@nOSpAm.inorbit.com> on Monday September 12, 2005 @08:41AM (#13537349) Homepage Journal
    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.
    • by Albanach (527650) on Monday September 12, 2005 @08:58AM (#13537484) Homepage
      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.

      • 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 :)
      • 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.
        How is more not better? If you're trying to photograph people I think taking a lot of shots is a good idea, because most will be crap.
      • To some extent, more is better, because it increases the chance you'll get a picture that interests you. Or imagine taking 100 shots of the big group photo instead of one or two, and see what that does to the odds that one of them has no one blinking, and/or everyone you care about smiling. Etc. There are a lot of places where statistics matter in photography, and anywhere they do, more shots means better quality.

    • 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.
    • Umm, if you get 540 images on a 4GB microdrive, you'll be able to get approximately 540 images on a 32Gb flash drive, since 32 * 2^30 bits is 4GB ytes. Well, maybe a little more, since the flash uses 2^30 while the drive proably uses 10^3. Moving to solid state, though, that'd be a huge gain in reliability.
    • 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)

      Right, because the only use for compact flash is for taking pictures.

      *rolls eyes*

    • First sentence: I shoot weddings.

      What?! I think if you are going around, shooting weddings, and making profit off of this grisly business, solid state drives are the least of your concerns. I would be more worried about things like: law enforcement, two families revenge, and Kaiser Sose.

      In related news, you may want to do us all a favor and put down the violent video games [slashdot.org]. Thanks!

      Side note, solid business model:

      1. Shoot weddings

      2. Take pictures of the shootings

      3. Profit.

      The IceMan, from HBO's [hbo.com]

    • No one shoots 3K worth of photos. It's insane.

      What makes you think these are intended for photo cameras? I'd want a 32GB card to stick into a special digital camcorder, since that's about 3 hours of DV-quality video footage in random-access format. Being able to put hi-res photos and video on the same card is just a bonus.
  • ...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
  • by aussersterne (212916) on Monday September 12, 2005 @08:44AM (#13537380) Homepage
    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.
    • You're going to cheap out on the CF readers, when the CF cards themselves will cost you a good $500+?

      You're talking about $2000 minimum just to get off the ground here. How does the poor man afford this?

      I can't imagine how the write performance would do anything but stink. In theory enough flash in parallel should have decent write performance, but I doubt this setup will manage to extract it.
      • I was under the impression that there were only one or two different USB2IDE bridge chipsets anyway. The CF readers I've been using for image work (with 2GB CF from digital cameras) were dead cheap, are low power, and I haven't had any problems with them. Is there some objective reason to spend $$$ on a more expensive brand-name reader?

        Anyway, $2k for a solid state hard drive is better than the $20k they were going for a few years ago, though I admit I haven't looked into pricing lately. Plus, with 32MB fla
  • by PIPBoy3000 (619296) on Monday September 12, 2005 @08:47AM (#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.
  • by mnmn (145599) on Monday September 12, 2005 @08:57AM (#13537479) Homepage
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • I thought all the big flash devices where using some kind of multi-bit technology that makes it possible to save two or more bits per transistor/cell.
    But "The 16 Gbit device holds 16.4 billion functional transistors" sounds like they got one transistor per bit+ some logic, drivers etc.
  • am i missing something? a 16GigaBit chip can hold 2GigaByte, and a 16x16 array contains 256 chips, so, this array should be able to hold 512GBytes.... i assume the article should say 4x4 array (32GBytes) (sorry about my english)

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