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Flash Memory HDD for Notebooks Launched 277

Posted by Zonk
from the now-put-them-in-ipods-please dept.
ukhackster writes "Traditional magnetic hard drive platters could be on the way out, thanks to SanDisk's launch today of a hard drive based on flash memory chips. The device can store 32GB of data and is meant for notebooks . SanDisk claims that using flash chips means faster access and better reliability, so less danger of a serious system crash wiping out all your valuable data if you drop your laptop. The downside, though, is price. At an extra $600 dollars, are price-conscious consumers going to be interested?"
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Flash Memory HDD for Notebooks Launched

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  • by BWJones (18351) * on Thursday January 04, 2007 @02:56PM (#17462232) Homepage Journal
    Hrmmmm..... just in time for Macworld? Oh please, oh please, oh please.....

    I've written about this before in a number of places, but most recently here [utah.edu] on my last trip to Argentina, but I am hoping that we will see a revised 12in Powerbook nee MacBook Pro (or smaller) in the next Macworld because I really do miss the smaller form factor. It would be tremendously useful for travelers and photographers as well as giving us better battery life.

    I am currently using a 15in Powerbook that I traded up from when the 12in Powerbook was cancelled, but a smaller footprint would help tremendously with travel. With the 15in Powerbook/Macbook Pro, I love the illuminated keyboard and the performance, but would be willing to pay a premium to carry a smaller laptop, subnotebook or tablet running OS X. It does not even have to have an optical drive as I rip movies I purchase or rent to the hard drive for long airline flights and in fact, if we could get flash drives down a bit in price (or get a sweet deal on bulk purchases for the manufacturer), it would be possible to even get rid of the hard drive provided we could still pack 30-40 GBs of storage space in the device. Battery life would be improved and if you combine it with a 10in diagonal new technology LED display (or OLED), we may even be able to get away with seven or eight hours of honest full on battery life. So Steve, come on dude. We've talked about this before several times. The technology currently exists or is damn close and I am sure there is a market for such a device, so please, please, please.

    • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @03:02PM (#17462352) Homepage
      Yup, people eager to line up to pay over the odds for flashy underpowered trinkets are the ideal market for the initial release of this technology.
      • by BWJones (18351) * on Thursday January 04, 2007 @03:23PM (#17462734) Homepage Journal
        Yup, people eager to line up to pay over the odds for flashy underpowered trinkets are the ideal market for the initial release of this technology.

        Ha ha ha. Seriously though, the ideal market for this technology has been defense related work for a number of years now. However, costs are decreasing to a point where we can now start putting these drives in Toughbooks (to make 'em even tougher), or portable devices that do tend to get bumped and thrown around a fair bit more. Just witness my last passage through customs here in the US where a "Homeland Security" officer inverted my laptop bag, dumping out the contents onto a desk from over a foot high. Laptop, point and shoot camera, cell phone and a portable hard drive loaded with photos all came crashing down. If there were flash discs instead of hard drives, I would have been perhaps less pissed off.

        The other category where flash drives are absolutely critical is for lots of remotely control data gathering devices. One of my friends who has been working on remotely piloted vehicles has been clamoring for just this sort of technology as it is much more rugged than hard drives for their applications (hard landings).

        • by Secrity (742221) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @04:48PM (#17464342)
          " a "Homeland Security" officer inverted my laptop bag, dumping out the contents onto a desk from over a foot high. Laptop, point and shoot camera, cell phone and a portable hard drive loaded with photos all came crashing down."

          It helps if you heed the prominently displayed signs and take your laptop out of the bag as instructed before you present it for inspection.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by BWJones (18351) *
            It helps if you heed the prominently displayed signs and take your laptop out of the bag as instructed before you present it for inspection.

            Not if you are rushed off of the plane to care for another passenger (turns out was VIP and foreign national) who is having a medical emergency. We did not even get to the gate where you are officially supposed to present your materials, yet you are still told that you have to endure an inspection of belongings and documentation even when trying to obtain medical care
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by LoudMusic (199347)

        Yup, people eager to line up to pay over the odds for flashy underpowered trinkets are the ideal market for the initial release of this technology.
        You mean Mac users right?
        • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @05:09PM (#17464706) Homepage Journal
          The question of whether people will be willing to pay an "extra $600" for this technology isn't really an issue.

          A little over a year ago, 1gigabyte flash drives were selling for over $100. If you go to Staples right now, you can still see some. But I bought a 1gig Sansadisk flash for $15 a few weeks ago. So a better question would be if people would be willing to pay an additional $80 for this new technology because that's what it'll cost a year or so from now.

          The answer is "effin' right!"
      • Sign me up for the flashy trinkets. They are also 1.5 or 1.8 inches rather than 2.5!

        in 1.5 years well have 2x as much at .5 the cost
    • Why does this use IDE at a time when IDE ports are staring to goway?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by locokamil (850008)
      Awesome. A story about a platform neutral technology is hijacked and converted into a MacWorld rumor mill.

      Am I flaming? Assuredly.
  • But price-conscious consumers won't be the initial market; it will be security conscious businesses that don't want to risk losing valuable data worth much than $600. They will buy enough of them for the price to move down the demand curve, and into the consumer market. Look for them to be standard issue in 3-5 years.
  • No. (Score:4, Informative)

    by geekboybt (866398) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @02:59PM (#17462292)
    By definition, a person who is "price conscious" will most likely not spring for the +$600 pricetag. The cost/GB is way too high. I see it being introduced just as any other technology - early adopters will get half-baked, Rev. A quality devices and pay a large premium for them. Once adoption becomes more widespread, prices will come down, and the "price conscious" (read: patient) folk will reap the benefits of the early adopters' beta testing.
  • An extra $600? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 8127972 (73495) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @03:01PM (#17462324)
    " At an extra $600 dollars, are price-conscious consumers going to be interested?"

    Economy of scale will ensure that it's not $600 for long.
    • Re:An extra $600? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by imsabbel (611519) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @03:20PM (#17462684)
      Sorry, you dont really get more economy of scale than flash already has.

      There are improvements ahead with further process shrinks, but to get the same storage than a decent big HD has, you need roughly all chips of a 20cm wafer.

      And creating 100s of cm^2 of memory-quality dice isnt cheap.
    • Economy of scale will ensure that it's not $600 for long.
      Not really, because the real cost of these drives is the cost of flash, which has already seen the benefits of economy scale so it's not going to get much cheaper. I mean, a 32GB flash drive is going to get cheaper, but it will be due to Moore's law, not economy of scale, so a flash drive will never be competitive to a traditional hard drive (except in applications they're already competitive in now).
  • HD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by El Lobo (994537) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @03:01PM (#17462326)
    What a wonderful life will be when a computer will contain NO MOVABLE mechanical components. This is actually the real bottleneck in modern machines and not processor power as many people think.

    Those things are ineffective , slow, power hungry,relative unreliable, etc. I wonder how they dis last so long.

    Oh well, we are still using wheels in our cars so... maybe it's not so surprising after all.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Do CF/SD cards/chips suffer the same multiple write problem that USB keys do? (my assumption is yes)

      Specifically, can they handle *thousands/tens of thousands* of writes as Windows (or whatever OS) does it's behind the scenes busy work?


      • Re:HD (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 04, 2007 @03:22PM (#17462714)
        I had no end of problems with CF cards while doing some embedded systems work. Surprisingly, the limited write cycle was the least of the problems; mostly the cards tended to die due to improper powerup/power down where, presumably, transient currents would somehow fry the card. It happened to several brands and I never understood why they didn't have integrated protections from this sort of thing. A second, more sinister type of failure was due to mechanical shock; it seems the wires within the chips (those gold ones connecting the silicon to the pins) would break. Found this out the hard way after moving a chip to a working card. (soldering was most likely not the cause, since the card started working again with the original chip put back into place).
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by labreuer (950633)
        Actually, the number of writes on flash memory tends to be in the millions these days. Combine this with wear levelling [wikipedia.org] and Windows should run just fine on it.
    • So long as we need fans to manage temperature. Those are much, much cheaper to replace, though.
    • by homer_ca (144738)
      The transfer rate on most flash memory is slower than hard drives (sometimes much slower). Their only speed advantage is no seek time for random access.
      • Re:HD (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mean pun (717227) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @03:35PM (#17463002)
        The transfer rate on most flash memory is slower than hard drives (sometimes much slower). Their only speed advantage is no seek time for random access.

        For this particular application that might not be a problem, since a lot of memory chips will be needed, and you can access them in parallel.

      • by timeOday (582209)
        Their only speed advantage is no seek time for random access.
        "Only"? Seek time counts for an awful lot in my (note)book.
      • Re:HD (Score:4, Insightful)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @05:31PM (#17465014) Journal
        My laptop hard drive can handle 30MB/s linear writes. In real-world usage, however, head movements mean that I am very, very unlikely to get more than 5-10MB. Don't underestimate the improvement that no-cost seeking could bring.
    • Are you proposing the end of mice and keyboards? Touch screen and pads only? Gah!
    • Frankly, hard drives fail so rarely that it's not really a problem in my opinion. I really don't think flash "drive" is as fast as a hard drive of the same price, there's really no point. The problem with flash is that for each bit, you have to architect tiny wires, with a drive, it's just a two-state point in a magnetic medium, for the near term, cost effectiveness, speed and density of hard drives simply win out. If you are so worried about reliability, for $500 you can RAID-mirror two 200GB drives in
      • by Xabraxas (654195)

        Frankly, hard drives fail so rarely that it's not really a problem in my opinion.

        Hard drives fail all the time. They fail more than any other part on a computer. They are unreliable garbage for the most part.

        If you are so worried about reliability, for $500 you can RAID-mirror two 200GB drives in a notebook and have 6x more storage than this flash drive.

        That really isn't possible with a notebook computer now is it?

  • When can we get flash memory for strippers? We're already paying out the ass to see their tits. I'd like to remember the experience a little longer.
  • by PatHMV (701344) <post@patrickmartin.com> on Thursday January 04, 2007 @03:03PM (#17462360) Homepage
    Such a system is obviously not aimed at those for whom price is the main consideration. For those interested in performance, however, an extra $600 may well be worth it. I paid more than that to upgrade my laptop screen to a very high resolution, because it was worth it to me. I could definitely see myself paying an extra $600 for a system with this, though it would also need to have an actual, larger capacity harddrive, too, for my data.
  • .... Being in the next iPod in 5 - 4 - 3 - 2.....
  • by GreatBunzinni (642500) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @03:04PM (#17462386)
    Since flash is so great for laptop HDs, why not get a small flash memory card to serve as the HD instead of that whole shebang? For example, why not mount the root and user partition on a small 2GB flash card, which in eBay goes for less than 40$, and then mount the /home partition on a regular HD? Possibly I'm missing something important here but as far as I see it, 40$ are a whole lot less than 500$.
    • by abradsn (542213)
      I think that's the basic idea that windows vista is adopting with using the hybrid drives.
    • 16*40 = $640, more than the $500 32 gig hard drive that is proposed. So your solution is more expensive, per megabyte, on the flash partition. This has been done before (see: the iOpener computer). The reason why a true road warrior would not want to do this is because you are generally using flash in (1) low power and (2) high vibration environments where you don't want a hard drive, period.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tgd (2822)
      Yes, you're missing something. And yes, $40 is less than $500.
    • by xenocide2 (231786)
      A similar concept is on the way: drives with a few gigs of non-volatile flash on top of their usual magnetic medium. But there is a downside: while using flash for a write cache or boot cache or whatever else means lots of good things, it also means most of your data is still on spinning discs. Drop that thing once or twice and the only thing left might be that 2G. This drive will probably find first use in rugged devices, where they've already been looking for various methods of getting laptops that can su
      • by Intron (870560)
        Flash filesystems avoid writes to reduce wear on the flash, so there should be more dirty data in memory at shutdown time, not less. And since writing to flash is slower than writing to disk, hibernate should take longer.
        • by xenocide2 (231786)
          Yes, but why bother flushing anything to disk? If the write cache is permenent and the logic is stored on the controller not PC software, I contend that while you should definately worry about what happens at shutdown, it may not be necessary to wait. This logc stands for supend to RAM, however I do stand corrected on suspend to disk (hibernate).
    • If we're talking the security of your data, and if we are also talking about having both a built in flash drive and a standard spinning hard drive, then I'd rather put the OS on the spinner and put my valuable data on the flasher. The OS is easy to restore. The OS is generally unchanging from when you first set it up, and if you require a highly customized OS setup, you can always take a once time backup image once you get it just the way you want it. You're valuable data, on the other hand, isn't so eas
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by llZENll (545605)
      Even if it were cost feasible your drive would die in a matter of months or years because flash, especially cheap flash has a limited number of write and read cycles, very small actually, 1000-10000 on some. If windows is churning at your swap file it would only take a day or so to do that many writes. Also the bandwidth of normal cheap flash drives is pretty crappy. The SSDs have special write algorithms in them which spread the writes out around the disk evenly, this extends the life of the memory gate
    • by WillAdams (45638)
      It's doable, and there's even a product to enable it:

      http://www.addonics.com/products/flash_memory_read er/ad44midecf.asp [addonics.com]

      I picked up a 4GB CF card a while back to do backups on (both a 20GB and 30GB HD started erroring out in my pen slate due to excess heat, so I'm back to the original 4GB HD) and intend to try this out as well.

      Downside is that apparently having swap space on the card will exceed its read / write cycle capacity fairly quickly (anyone know what the symptoms of that are? Or if there's a way t
    • My Linux systems have a 4GB CF card that stores all static files such as programs, libraries, and config files. I have the partition with these files (yes it's /) made read-only and noatime. You really only want to use it for these files because flash media has a limited number of writes it can handle.

      It does speed the system up though and it makes it a lot less likely to suffer an unbootable situation which is really the reason I switched to flash. I got sick of needing to rebuild or restore my whole syste
    • Probably because it is much harder to do the equivalent on Windows as Windows like drives to be nicely labeled C:, D: etc., and every damn app wants to install on C:.
    • That what I am thinking. If not use the drive outright to boot the OS, then notebook manufacturers should use it as a built-in backup device. Instead of relying on a backup CD, just use the flash drive and a special utililty to restore the system and crucial data.
  • by LehiNephi (695428) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @03:05PM (#17462408) Journal
    Any modern CPU is fast enough for me these days, and I don't need a real big screen on a laptop. What I want is good, solid construction, and long battery life. How much of a laptop's power use is due to the hard drive? And how much of that is saved by using a flash-based disk?

    Speaking of which, can someone show me how power consumption is divided among the parts of a laptop (CPU, chipset, wireless, drives, graphics card if applicable, LCD, backlight, etc)?
    • Google is your friend (and so are college students!)

      Laptop battery usage report [uiuc.edu]

    • by imsabbel (611519) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @03:27PM (#17462830)
      The power distribution in a modern notebook is EXTREMELY dependent on usage and the special model you look at.

      Averaged, the biggest power-draw of a modern notebook is the display, followed by the cpu. (this may of course vary if the notebook has a very small display. With equal brightness, power-draw of course increases with display size, until it dominates everything else with those 17" 200cm/m^2 display). After that is chipset and GPU (of course depending on with model you use).

      2.5" HDs are actually not very power-hungry. Typical power-draw figures are 5W during spinup, and about 2W while in use (dropping to 0.5W or so during spindown).

      The FLASH drive mentioned draws about 0.6W in use, so in average you might gain 1.5W thats about 3-5% of the average power-draw of a modern notebook, and should give you about 10-15 minutes or so more.
  • by goombah99 (560566) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @03:05PM (#17462414)
    Where's cringley's metal film disks? He said they were going to be in produciton soon and would cost less, use less power and have lower latency to flash even when spun down. They also work at elevated temperatures (suited for cars and embeddeds) and are insanley shock resistant. They could even be spun up to 30,000 rpms making them have higher data rates and lower latency. And they were lower profile than conventional disks. They sound a lot better than these flash compromises since there's no compromise. It's just an ultra-low power hard disk.
    • by imsabbel (611519)
      Please forget them. They are shit, will never work, and every argument he made in his blog-post was unscientific bullshit aimed into collecting disposable venture capital.

      If the product will ever be released (i dont think so), it will be at a point of time when the stated specs (if reached at all) will be laughably outdated. And even then its much likely to be another click-of-death fiasco, because the whole technology is DOA.
    • by thepotoo (829391)
      At the moment they are partying with Duke Nukem.
  • nomenclature (Score:5, Informative)

    by tonigonenstein (912347) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @03:09PM (#17462494)
    Can you stop calling them "flash hard drives"? They are precisely not hard drives, but flash drives. It is like saying "liquid crystal cathode ray tube" or "electric internal combustion engine".
    • Re:nomenclature (Score:4, Insightful)

      by LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @03:33PM (#17462964) Homepage

      Can you stop calling them "flash hard drives"? They are precisely not hard drives, but flash drives. It is like saying "liquid crystal cathode ray tube" or "electric internal combustion engine".
      What's wrong with flash hard drives? They're flash, they're hard (I've yet to see a flash drive that was spongy), and they're drives. This is nothing like your other two examples because this one is still accurate. Now, if they'd called them "flash hard disks" or "flash magnetic disk" or something ridiculous you'd have a point. As it is, flash hard drive is both accurate and useful since by using the same terminology as current hard drives makes it easier for the average user to get their head around it's purpose.
      • Sure, and I've known people who called 3.5" floppies "hard disks" too, because they're hard and they're disks. That doesn't mean those people weren't idiots.
        • Sure, and I've known people who called 3.5" floppies "hard disks" too, because they're hard and they're disks.


          The hard part of a 3.5" floppy is not a disk, the part that is a disk is not hard.
      • Now, if they'd called them "flash hard disks" or "flash magnetic disk" or something ridiculous you'd have a point.

        The correct term of art is SSD - solid state disk.
    • Actually, shouldn't it be something like "Flash RAM"? A drive refers to a moving part, while the storage is, well, random access memory. I know it would confuse the hell out of the poor bastards who buy computers at Wal-Mart (PIII with 50 GB of RAM!!! Only 99.99!!!), but it seems to me that that would be the most accurate name...
      • I prefer "PAM" because they're really only pseudorandom.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by joe_bruin (266648)
        Modern NAND flash is in fact not much more of a random access storage device than a hard drive. This is different from NOR flash, which is typically directly addressable like RAM (and much more expensive than NAND flash). These devices can only be accessed as block devices at the chip level. You certainly can't write to just one address, you need to erase the block and then serially feed in all the bytes to it. To read, you can address individual blocks and read their entire content. Further complicati
  • I have a 7 year-old laptop with a similarly aged drive and the whole thing still works. Will the flash drive last that long given normal to heavy usage?
    • by Intron (870560)
      Heavy I/O = writing 100 blocks/sec * 512 bytes * 7 years * 365.25 days * 24 hours * 3600 seconds / 32e9 = 353 complete writes (assuming load leveling). Allowed number of writes = 100,000 or 1,000,000 so I think you are safe.
  • I can't imagine my laptop being the only source of my "valuable data". Admittedly, it's a bit of work, but I'm constantly synchronizing files back and forth between desktop and laptop. So I did a quick Google search to see how many cases of laptops containing valuable data there were. This article [reseller.co.nz] has some fun anecdotes about dropping laptops.

    Seriously, though, there's some kind of marketing idea that dropping laptops is a huge problem. Apple's solution [apple.com] was one of the biggest gimmicks I've ever heard of.

    • by NineNine (235196)
      I'm starting to buy these things for my business desktops. There's nothing more frustating and time consuming then when a hard drive fails.
    • by pimpimpim (811140)
      At the university here I've already seen several pleas posted on leaflets all over the campus from people whose laptop got stolen at the end of their PhD, which left them with all data lost. You just don't want that to happen. Why you would want to carry around the only copies of all your work in one bag is another question. The group where I'm in luckily specifically forbids you to put your work outside the disks that are in the thorough automated backup mechanism: a snapshot for each of the four last mont
  • by BenJeremy (181303) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @03:19PM (#17462678)
    Why all the complaints about the price? This is about more than security, too... it's about power consumption and speed, too.

    My thoughts?

    Price:

    $10/GB is not out of scale with current flash pricing, but nonetheless, the pricing will continue to fall. Initial release of "new" technologies like this inevitably start off pricey, usually dipping 50% after a year. I see this type of product falling even faster.

    Advantages:

    Forget security. The name of the game is power consumption. Hard drives (and DVD-ROM drives, too) suck a LOT of power on a laptop. Flash-based HDDs should offer a considerable improvement in battery life, and for many people, this is the "killer app" that will move this product from bleeding edge to consumer-level.
    • Nah, I don't think it'll be power. Honestly, where do you go in the modern world that doesn't have power? In fact, when I get a new laptop, the first thing that I do is get rid of the battery. They're heavy, hot, and they're rarely useful.

      I'm buying flash drives for reliability in my business computers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by evilviper (135110)

      Hard drives (and DVD-ROM drives, too) suck a LOT of power on a laptop.

      No. No they don't.

      Your backlight sucks a lot of power. Your hard drive is a barely noticable load next to the display. Your hard drive is probably near the bottom of power consumption for the whole system.

      (Note all the portable MP3 players with 1.8" HDDs, that last 30+ hours on one tiny battery.)

      Performance and reliability are the reasons to consider flash based storage in notebooks, NOT battery life.

  • Flash memory has (depending on which technology) a limited life of 10^5 or 10^6 write operations. Now imagine your swap space being on flash.

    Get used to the notion that this will mean you have to buy a new drive as these wear out now too. and older drives will start developing mysterious read errors, so will also need additional space-consuming data-redundancy for an error recovery strategy.
    • by greg1104 (461138) <gsmith@gregsmith.com> on Thursday January 04, 2007 @04:04PM (#17463542) Homepage
      Flash memory has (depending on which technology) a limited life of 10^5 or 10^6 write operations...Get used to the notion that this will mean you have to buy a new drive as these wear out now too. and older drives will start developing mysterious read errors, so will also need additional space-consuming data-redundancy for an error recovery strategy.

      The kind of flash controllers used for designs like these are built with wear levelling [wikipedia.org] approaches that manages this problem at a level below where the operating system will see errors. I wouldn't want to run a database server that's being written to all the time on one of them, but for normal notebook computer use 10^6 writes on every block should last several years.

      Now imagine your swap space being on flash.

      Why would you possibly do that? Add more (cheap!) physical RAM instead until there's no need to swap.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by profplump (309017)
        Even with gigs of RAM it's still useful to have some swap space. You won't use it all the time, but it's still handy to have.

        The obvious example is transient large memory use. I've got all my usual apps open. Now I want to play WoW on my lunch break. Rather than quitting everything I can just let the system swap out my apps when WoW loads and swap them back in when I quit. Maybe your laptop holds enough RAM that you don't care, but mine only holds 2 GB, and I can easily use more than that, particularly when
    • by timeOday (582209)
      So don't use swap. It's pointless, especially in a system with a flash drive, where the mass storage isn't much cheaper than the RAM. Here's my laptop memory right now, with about 20 applications running on XP under VMWare, RAM-wasting Netbeans (java), 20 tabs open in Firefox, etc:

      total used free shared buffers cached
      Mem:
  • Conventional wisdom / rumor is that these non-volatile memories have a limited number of write cycles before they fail. I still haven't heard anyone explain why that wouldn't be a problem for these drives. Anyone?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mean pun (717227)

      Conventional wisdom / rumor is that these non-volatile memories have a limited number of write cycles before they fail. I still haven't heard anyone explain why that wouldn't be a problem for these drives. Anyone?

      A mixture of:

      • Because the limit is actually fairly high.
      • Because wear leveling over such a large number of bits makes the problem less serious.
      • Because in practice many people don't actually write that much to a disk.
      • Because if you buy one of these things you accept that as part of the tr
  • by llZENll (545605) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @03:43PM (#17463162)
    With these new disks would be a great time for manufactures to align their specs with the consumers mind. i.e. 1,000,000,000 bytes does not equal a GB. For once I would like to buy a drive and actually be able to use 34,359,738,368 bytes and not the crummy 32,000,000,000 they are selling.
  • Off-topic (Score:2, Insightful)

    by subl33t (739983)
    I can't take it anymore!

    Attention taggers: "no" is not a tag, it's an opinion. Same goes for "yes" and "maybe". Submit it in a post or STFU.
  • "The NAND flash contained in the SanDisk drive, in fact, only contains one bit of data per memory cell. SanDisk makes NAND flash that can hold two bits of data per cell and, through Msystems, has technology for expanding that to 4 bits of memory in a cell. Increasing the capacity can thus be accomplished without massive technological breakthroughs."
  • I havn't read up on flash lately but I was still under the impression flash had problems with wearing out from writing to the same sector too often.

    That's fine for a thumb drive but can it really handle the truly massive constant data restructuring generated by the pr0n? I'm assuming it can't.

    I'm not even going to ponder the economic success of an expensive hard drive which is unsuitable for the primary data storage need of geeks everywhere.
    • by imsabbel (611519)
      Well, the world is a better place knowing geniuses like you are roaming at ./ and shitting mental bullshit into postings.
  • I remember being very thankful that thumb drives caught on. Over the years, I have been asked to recover data off of CDs that were cracked and 3.5" disks that had been put though heck. 3.5" disks were the worst. People would bring them in full of sand or with seriously damaged outer shells. With flash drives, I have seen them crushed, run through a washing machine, and partially melted by fire - but was able to recover the data most of the time. They are a huge improvement over the old storage media.

    No

Those who can, do; those who can't, write. Those who can't write work for the Bell Labs Record.

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