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Samsung Unveils 64-Gbit Flash Memory Chip 150

Posted by kdawson
from the thanks-for-the-memories dept.
Lucas123 writes "The chips can be combined to create a 128-GB flash storage device capable of holding up to 80 DVD movies or 32,000 MP3 music files. The chip was created using 30-nanometer processing technology that was developed with Samsung's self-aligned double patterning technology. Manufacturing will start in 2009; but the article quotes a Gartner analyst who reminds us, 'Samsung has had a difficult time adhering to its timelines for mass production due to the complexity of MLC architectures and ever shrinking process geometries.'"
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Samsung Unveils 64-Gbit Flash Memory Chip

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  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Thursday October 25, 2007 @10:35AM (#21113371)
    I don't know if I want storage that can't be addressed in 4 bytes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Yup. This is why I prefer my bytes to be 16 bits long. My memory addressing is much more efficient this way.
    • At least on their main machine... My work computer, home computer, and laptop are all 64-bit already. And by 2009, so will everyone elses'

      • My work computer, home computer, and laptop are all 64-bit already. And by 2009, so will everyone elses'
        Including PDAs and handheld video gaming systems?
      • by PitaBred (632671)
        I've got a 2GHz Pentium M with 2GB of RAM in my work laptop. Definitely not 64bit, but I'm not seeing it being replaced (or needing to be replaced) within a year. Maybe 2 or 3, but definitely not by 2009. And that's only if 64bit drivers have become more common and stable. There's still going to be a lot of 32bit computing going on well through 2010.
    • I don't know if I want storage that can't be addressed in 4 bytes.

      Your 8GB hard drive will miss you.

    • by Nimey (114278)
      You /must/ be trolling. How big is your hard drive again?
  • Combine (Score:5, Funny)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Thursday October 25, 2007 @10:36AM (#21113389) Journal
    So you can combine 16 of these to get 128GB. Can you combine 32 to get 256GB? And what if you combine 128 of them for 1TB!? The possibilities are endless.
    • Re:Combine (Score:5, Funny)

      by jimstapleton (999106) on Thursday October 25, 2007 @10:40AM (#21113487) Journal
      no, no, it's not like that. Flash memory chips are like uranium/plutonium/etc - once a chunk reaches a certain mass (depending on purity), they have a habit of exploding.

      See, if you combine 16 of them, you'll probably just lose your computer, and be otherwise ok. However at 256, the room your computer is in will probably be a lost cause. At 128? Good by city.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        See, if you combine 16 of them, you'll probably just lose your computer, and be otherwise ok. However at 256, the room your computer is in will probably be a lost cause. At 128? Good by city.

        What's the point in blowing up just a room, when I could blow up entire city with half the number of chips.:-P

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by MindKata (957167)
          What's the point in blowing up just a room, when I could blow up entire city with half the number of chips.:-P

          256 is a more stable computer number than 128
        • Typo. Meant 32.

          Whatever you do, DONT COMBINE 256 CHIPS. The world sucks, but I like it anyway.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by dgatwood (11270)

          Danger, Will Robinson. You have just been added to the terror watch list [slashdot.org]. So now it's 755,001.

      • by alexhs (877055)
        You're talking about indirect damages right ? That's actually the damages done by MPAA/RIAA lawyers ? :P

        So the analogy would be that flash memory chips are radiating copyright infringement lawsuits ? :)
      • Analogies (Score:3, Funny)

        by mrbluze (1034940)
        I collect baseball fields. Currently I can fit 0.0000000012 baseball fields on a flash drive, how many can I fit onto one of these?

        I used to collect Libraries of Congress, but after the first one I couldn't find any others.
      • No, you're both wrong. You can't put two Flash memory chips in the same device otherwise they start fighting and you end losing one, especially if they are male chips.
  • Great math, author. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "128-GB flash storage device capable of holding up to 80 DVD movies"

    Those must be some pretty small DVDs.
    • by ungybungy (872087)
      The standard release size for DVD rips is (or was at some point, and depending on the length of the movie) 1400M.

      128*1024/1400 ~ 93.6.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Ledsock (926049)
        It's Mbits, not Mbytes. Therefore, 128/8*1024/1400~11.7

        Also, they specified DVD movies. Rips from DVDs are usually called AVIs, DivX, XviD, or whatever. If you compress a standard 2 layer DVD down to a little less than a single layer, then you might be able to get 4 crammed in that space, but there'd be some heavy compression.
        • by Ledsock (926049)
          Actually, I reread TFA, and saw they combined 16 of the 64 Gbit chips to make a 128 Gbyte chip. The point still stands about DVDs != movie files.
    • by Khopesh (112447)

      It's far worse than that: "64Gbit" is not bytes; you'll have to divide by 8 to get that ... oh, that makes for an 8GByte chip. We already have those.

      "80 DVD movies or 32,000 MP3 music files" would have to involve rather small movies and music files; at that quantity on paired chips (it's a good thing the author told us that this adds up to 128GB, I'd have otherwise been stumped), a "DVD movie" is 1.6GB and an "MP3 music file" is 4MB. Most DVDs are dual-layer these days, which means 5+GB, and the average

  • by doyoulikeworms (1094003) on Thursday October 25, 2007 @10:38AM (#21113441)
    ...that provide storage sizes in units easy to relate with, namely pirated media.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by T-Bone-T (1048702)
      I have no idea how they got 80 movies from 128GB. DVD ISOs tend to be 7-10GB and divx rips tend to be 700MB in which case you get either 10-15 movies or over 160 movies.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by J0nne (924579)

        I have no idea how they got 80 movies from 128GB. DVD ISOs tend to be 7-10GB and divx rips tend to be 700MB in which case you get either 10-15 movies or over 160 movies.
        Most recent DVD rips are of the 2CD variety, so 1,4 GB total per movie (which gives us about 85 movies). You can see they know exactly what people use them for ;).
        • by T-Bone-T (1048702)
          I can't believe I haven't seen that before! That is really funny.
        • Are you including the commentaries? You have to rip those too.

          "Well in this scene...wait, weren't you supposed to be in this scene?"
          "I think that was the day the catering truck had medditerranian tuna salad wraps. Those were good"
          "Oh yah, and they had little eclairs too. I love those."
          "Hey, what scene is this now?"
      • by soulsteal (104635)
        Maybe they're going with the scene-standard 2CD release size of 1400MB.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by CompSci101 (706779)

      Hey, I'm an American, and I can't think in these fancy units. I have no idea how you'd represent this in Football Fields.

      How many Car Analogies is that, and how many ripped DVDs equal a Football Field?

      Have we no standards anymore?

      C

      • Ha ha! Awesome. Those idiotic analogies always drive me nuts. The "full-grown elephants" one is another. How many adolescent-elephants does that equal? How about adult-but-undersized elephants?

        Sigh. Remember when people were expected to consider things for themselves, without infantile illustrations for the lowest common denominator?
      • For our non-US readers it might help to point out that 1 US Football Field = 5000 high quality goatse jpgs.
  • Storage size limit? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday October 25, 2007 @10:40AM (#21113489)

    "The chips can be combined to create a 128-GB flash storage device capable of holding up to 80 DVD movies or 32,000 MP3 music files.

    Am I missing something about that statement, or is it really as stupid as it sounds?

    With some time, I could create a 128-*Peta*byte storage device with those chips. In the worst case scenario, you build a device out of multiple 128-GB flash devices.

  • by R2.0 (532027) on Thursday October 25, 2007 @10:43AM (#21113545)
    So if I can hold all my porn in one hand, and work the keyboard with the other...

    How's this supposed to work, again?
  • It can only dream though.
  • by MrCrassic (994046) <deprecatedNO@SPAMema.il> on Thursday October 25, 2007 @10:44AM (#21113565) Journal

    Has Samsung improved on the inherently bad Flash write speeds? If not, then I don't really see too much of a point for anything other than desktops (where much more revenue could be made for server or workstation-based uses).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by networkBoy (774728)
      You're thinking of NOR devices.
      NAND organized flash has good write speeds but poor read speeds and NOR is the other way round.
      The controller has a lot to do with overall performance as well.

      Finally, Hynix has demonstrated a 22 die stack, but not in HVM. Samsung could *possibly* do a 16 die stack, but I'm betting on two packages, each with 8 die when this comes out.
      -nB
  • At least Slashdot have a better summary than the BBC for once http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7057717.stm [bbc.co.uk] I contacted them as they originally claimed something similar to "The 64 gigabit (Gb) chips [are] capable of holding the equivalent of 80 DVDs.". They have since corrected it.
    • It can hold 80 - 1.6GB DVDs movies? Huh? More like: 13 - 9.4GB DVDs 26 - 4.7GB DVDs 200 - 650MB CDs 4 days of 128kps audio 2 weeks of 32kps speech 250,000 4x6 photos
    • by pimpimpim (811140)
      It all depends on the amount of compression you use when copying the DVD. To fit 80 DVDs on 8 GB one needs movies of about 100 MB. Maybe for mobile phone quality movies...
  • Why? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by darthflo (1095225)
    This flash based player thingie Samsung's building will extremely probably be way more expensive than it'd be using a 1.8" hard drive. OTOH they can shape it more freely (why would they? Hard drives are shaped quite like widescreen displays. Perfect for portable media players) and probably shave off a few millimeters in thickness while providing the same battery runtime.
    While this might turn out to be something awesome, I can't really imagine to be willing to pay double (or more?) just to have a 10-15% sli
  • by wolff000 (447340) on Thursday October 25, 2007 @10:58AM (#21113779)
    I never liked the micro drives for portable devices. I move around a lot and the micro drives tend to die on me. Where as the flash players I have had last well forever so far. The only one that died was one I dropped from 300 feet up while rock climbing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Firethorn (177587)
      The only one that died was one I dropped from 300 feet up while rock climbing.

      I'm surprised you found it at all.

      I wonder if the only reason you couldn't access it was because the interface was damaged - IE you fix the USB port and it'd work again.

      Stuff as small as thumb drives tend to have a pretty low terminal velocity - 20 ft and 300 ft end up being pretty much the same.
  • Until they make it possible to rewrite as many times as you can on a traditional hard drive, why would you need one so big?
    • by pla (258480)
      Until they make it possible to rewrite as many times as you can on a traditional hard drive, why would you need one so big?

      Decent wear-levelling algorithms accomplished that at the interface level almost 20 years ago. On top of that, modern flash usually has some degree of on-chip healing capability (remapping failed blocks from a small pool of reserved good ones).

      Virtually all of the traditional objections to flash no longer apply. They last longer than HDDs, they can read/write faster (at a bulk le
    • by Asic Eng (193332)
      I guess for MP3 players and the like - it would get the smaller form factor flash players into the same storage range as hard drive players have currently. I'd buy that if the price is ok.
    • by Kjella (173770)
      With wear levelling they have drives (ok, not cheap USB sticks) that have above-HDD write cycles already. Not that I expect HDDs to die from write cycles anyway, they die because they're platters spinning at 7200rpm that sooner or later will wear down and break, whether I write to them or not. Seriously, it's a complete non-issue unless you're doing heavy database IO on a tiny flash card that's almost filled to the brim. If you did enough swapping for it to matter, you'd have bought another stick of RAM lon
    • by Lumpy (12016)
      Store for playback ripped movies to xvid. I rip and never delete. so this would be perfect for me. just stack up a crapload inside the pc case.
  • Bad math (Score:5, Interesting)

    by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Thursday October 25, 2007 @11:06AM (#21113889) Homepage Journal
    Am I the only person tired of seeing storage listed in terms of "songs"? Come on,

    32,000 MP3 music files
    Really, that number doesn't mean squat. I have a friend who love punk music, where the songs are on average about 45 seconds long. I have another friend who listens to classical music, where many songs are 5 minutes or more. How could you possibly equate those two?

    Wouldn't it just make a lot more sense to say it could hold X hours of music, instead?
    • Re:Bad math (Score:5, Funny)

      by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday October 25, 2007 @11:09AM (#21113941) Homepage Journal
      How much does that work out to in Libraries of Congress?
    • by snl2587 (1177409)
      Yeah, but a lot of consumers don't really think about that kind of thing, so it sounds better to them to hear "32,000 mp3s" with a footnote that suggests 4 minute songs than to say "2133 hours and 20 minutes of music". So in this case what would make sense takes a back seat to what sells.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Even listing "2133 hours and 20 minutes of music" is going to need a footnote of thats its of mp3s encoded at a bit rate of 128kbps. I listen to punk and hardcore and 128 kbps is more than enough for most of my stuff, but I know some people who listen to real music and will complain to no end if its less than 256 kbps.
    • by hackstraw (262471)
      Wouldn't it just make a lot more sense to say it could hold X hours of music, instead?

      How many hours of music are in the library of congress?

    • by wattrlz (1162603)
      The, "average" mp3 is just over three minutes long and takes up 4MB. 32,000 mp3 x 4,000,000 ANSI standard bytes = 128GB
      • Yeah except that 128Gbit is 16Gbyte.

        Tom
        • by Asic Eng (193332)
          But they are talking of combining 16 chips of 64Gbit which gets you 128 GByte. Of course, they are just saying "businesses can create a 128GB flash storage device". Which, while true, doesn't really mean anything apart from "you can use multiple chips in the same device".
    • by tomknight (190939)
      I'd want to be told how many reams of sheet music. Reams? No, make that furlongs of score.
      • I'd want to be told how many reams of sheet music. Reams? No, make that furlongs of score.
        Sheet music? Score? Come on, most of pop music is accompanied by the same beat box noise that's been used since the late 70's. I'd bet you could write the "score" for most top 40 music on a postage stamp and have room to spare.

        Now get off my lawn, you dang whippersnappers!
      • I prefer to measure it in pecks [wikipedia.org] of mp3s.
    • by xigxag (167441)
      Seems to me they provide the mp3's as a BOTE [gaarde.org] estimate, an order of magnitude for point of reference, nothing more. If anybody wants to calculate it into hours (which is meaningless without a corresponding bitrate), then they've got the actual storage space, 128GB, and can do the math themselves.
    • Really, that number doesn't mean squat. I have a friend who love punk music, where the songs are on average about 45 seconds long. I have another friend who listens to classical music, where many songs are 5 minutes or more. How could you possibly equate those two?
      By ignoring them completely. The standard length for pop songs is three minutes. Anything above or below that is discarded as sample bias.
    • by Kjella (173770)
      Wouldn't it just make a lot more sense to say it could hold X hours of music, instead?

      Would that be in 128kbps AACs, 256kbps AACs, 320kbps MP3s, VBR MP3s or FLACs? It's a ballpark estimate based on what's typical anyway, and you're not going to make it exact by making another ballpark estimate. In short, if you needed the first estimate it's as good as yours, and if you want it exact then your estimate is just as poor.
    • by Bo'Bob'O (95398)
      Yeah, how about us hippies that own Indian Music? A good Raga can be 45 minutes long. That and I will generally encode higher then 128 bits/second.
    • Well, it's not just because of *me*, but because so many people encode using different codecs and at different rates. I get frustrated whenever I see an mp3 player saying that it can hold "n Hours of music!," only to see in the fine print that it's in .wma format @ 96kb/s. I'm a fan of just saying how much space, in human-readable format (df -h) in terms of GB. Not Gb, not MB or Mb, but GB....
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by raulzero (529788)
      No, you're not the only one. I, for one, will not be buying a bag of these "chips" until they can hold data other than just music and video.
    • by pipingguy (566974) *
      And what's the bitrate?
    • What if it is "classic punk" though? Does it get longer over time?
  • 64Gbit is only 8Gbyte which is still fairly big, but not enough to store 40 DVD movies (hell it could hardly hold two).

    Me thinks whomever wrote the summary was a bit off to lunch that day.

    Tom
    • by Mattsson (105422)
      According to the summary (and TFA) you can combine these 64Gbit chips into a 128GB[yte] device.
      1 one-layer DVD ~4.5GB
      That's still only bout 28 DVDs on one of these though.
      They probably actually mean "up to 80 high-quality DVD-ripps", since they're much smaller. =)

  • by Simonetta (207550) on Thursday October 25, 2007 @11:35AM (#21114373)
    Will they be arrested for conspiracy to commit piracy? Let's see 30,000 MP3 songs at $250,000 each time 1,000,000 chips. A lot of zeros means a lot of money! Everyone knows that if you sell a memory device that can hold 20000 MP3 songs that all but a handful will be 'pirated', that is to say copied without permission of their so-called owners. No one except loud-mouth fuckhead billionaire Steven Jobs is actually paying $30000 for 30,000 iTune songs. So if you make a device that facilitates file copying, aren't you guilty of conspiracy to commit intellectual property fraud?

        And don't tell me that there are alternative legal uses for hard drives and memory chips. After all, isn't the scope of the intellectual property crisis dire enough to overrule such petty and superficial uses of these devices? Isn't that what the entertainment industry is telling us? Aren't they the most important 'industry' in the USA and the world?

      In my town any teenager can have his life ruined by being arrested for having a little piece of blank paper in his pocket. The pigs (excuse me, I meant to say 'the Republicans') here call it 'conspiracy to possess marijuana paraphernalia', and it means just a cigarette rolling paper. And it's a serious crime with serious time.

      But every consumer electronics store in the city sells drives and media that are specifically used to commit so-called 'intellectual property theft'. Listening to music, having a little scrap of paper in your pocket, even suggesting that this is all nothing but corrupt,racist, selective law enforcement, it's enough to get you arrested and thrown into the vast American rape-torture gulag.

      But if the MPAA/RIAA is so smart and so bad, then why aren't they actually going up face-to-face, lawyer-to-lawyer against the manufacturers that make the hard drives and memory chips? Sure they'll go after single mothers making $8/hr and win $250,000 with their $300,000/yr lawyers and hand-written laws. But will they go after the Fry's, Walmarts, and BestBuys for selling the drives, PCs, and modems that make it possible for ordinary people to 'steal' their 'intellectual property'? Why not? They have the money, they have the lawyers, they have the testicles! So where's the beef?

      If they won't do this, then the entire music and entertainment global industry (it's what now, four giant companies?) should be taken over by the government as a RICO enterprise. We should make them do it. After all, it's us that are the most embarrassed by this corrupt extortion. Why aren't we doing anything about these assholes? Of course, they will self-destruct on their own, but they will do a lot of damage on the way down. We should put our collective heads together and deliver a coup-de-grace to these pathetic losers. Consider it a mercy killing. Which is legal here, but carrying a little piece of rice paper is not.
    • by mdielmann (514750)

      Consider it a mercy killing. Which is legal here, but carrying a little piece of rice paper is not.
      Hmm, you'd think a bunch of old people would be more worried about making it legal to kill old and/or debilitated people than they would be about teenagers smoking pot.
    • No one except loud-mouth fuckhead billionaire Steven Jobs is actually paying $30000 for 30,000 iTune songs.

      Pawn shops sell cheaper CDs.

      In my town any teenager can have his life ruined by being arrested for [...] 'conspiracy to possess marijuana paraphernalia', and it means just a cigarette rolling paper.

      Ages 13 to 17 aren't supposed to possess tobacco paraphernalia either in any U.S. state I can think of.

      But will they go after the Fry's, Walmarts, and BestBuys for selling the drives, PCs, and modems that make it possible for ordinary people to 'steal' their 'intellectual property'? Why not?

      They have tried, and they have failed, at least in the United States. Google will tell you all about Sony v. Universal and RIAA v. Diamond Multimedia.

      If they won't do this, then the entire music and entertainment global industry (it's what now, four giant companies?)

      There are six major movie studios: Columbia (Sony), Disney, Fox, Warner, Paramount (Viacom), and Universal (GE). There are four major record labels: Sony BMG (Bertelsmann), the other Universal (Vivendi), the other Warner, and E

  • 30nm? (Score:2, Informative)

    by keithjr (1091829)
    I don't like how the article doesn't state any projected costs. 30nm is on the bleeding edge of process sizes and I'd be surprised if they don't take pretty severe hit to their chip yield as a result. We'll see.
  • What cost ? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Thursday October 25, 2007 @11:49AM (#21114595) Homepage
    and how long does such storage last before bits go bad ?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2007 @01:24PM (#21116135)
    Every single fucking time a flash memory article is posted some bunch of fucktards asks the same damn bunch of asshat questions or makes the same stupid "observation".

    The claim is that flash memory will somehow wear out too quickly to be useful; or "only lasts a few thousand writes" or some other stupid ass comment.

    Please please please - look up older articles and read the comments or just read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wear_levelling [wikipedia.org] and shut up. Flash memory and its controllers have improved to the point where it's reasonable to expect an SSD to last longer than a typical PC or laptop's useful life.

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