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Handhelds Hardware

Memory Wars May Herald Mobile Devices With Terabytes of Capacity 147

Posted by Soulskill
from the good-news-for-abandoning-cloud-storage dept.
Lucas123 writes "With 3D NAND flash going into high production and one startup demonstrating a resistive NAND (RRAM) flash array, it may not be long before mobile devices have hundreds of gigabytes of capacity, even a terabyte, with performance only limited by the bus. Samsung announced it is now mass producing three-dimensional (3D) Vertical NAND (V-NAND) chips, and start-up Crossbar said it has created a prototype of its RRAM chip. Both technologies offer many times what current NAND flash chips offer today in capacity and performance. Which technology will prevail is still up in the air, and experts believe it will be years before RRAM can challenge NAND, but it's almost inevitable that RRAM will overtake NAND as even 3D NAND heads for an inevitable dead end. Others believe 3D NAND, currently at 24 layers, could reach more than 100, giving it a lifespan of five or more years."
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Memory Wars May Herald Mobile Devices With Terabytes of Capacity

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  • by NeoStrider69 (2777567) on Friday August 09, 2013 @11:19AM (#44521625)
    Fire it up Jonny
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 09, 2013 @11:19AM (#44521629)
    640 GB should be enough for anybody.
    • by ackthpt (218170)

      640 GB should be enough for anybody.

      650 TB should be enough for anybody.

      looka my lolcats in 3D video

    • by jools33 (252092)

      Thats nice cos right now Samsung refuses to sell any galaxy S4's with more than 16GB in Europe from what I can see. The cynic in me thinks this is because if they can sell you a phone with less memory then you will be looking to upgrade it sooner. My Galaxy S2 also has 16GB - and I've run out of app space on that so as soon as I upgrade I'll be close to running out of app space on a new S4 too.

      • by snadrus (930168)

        But I've added a 32gb SD card to mine. Pictures go there automatically & downloads play from there fine. It's also just a copy-paste to move big games to the 32gb card.

        If you're using 16 + 32 = 48gb on your phone, consider your use-cases.

        • I have a HTC Desire S which has an 8 GB SD card and 1 GB internal memory. I use about 300 MB internal memory, and about 1.2 GB from the SD card, and that's consisting of this week's pictures, 3 lossless audio albums and whatever else Android puts there.

          That's because I don't put EVERYTING on my phone. I have a dedicated MP3 player, an USB stick for data that I travel with and (when needed) a 2 TB external HDD for backups.

          • by rtb61 (674572)

            Forget phones. The memory wars mean the end of the optical disk drive and of course any spinning storage.

            Blue ray didn't bring it about but the memory wars will have you replacing your dvd collection (or at the very least the big rip and write of shifting your content to new media).

            Still trying to imagine that huge box to allow the pretty label with this tiny postage stamp sized storage media containing the actual content be it game, music or movie or combinations and multiples of them all.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      For what is essentially a network terminal, we really don't need huge amounts of storage.

      Even tho you were being sarcastic.

  • by barlevg (2111272)
    It would be one thing if Netflix and other streaming sites allowed offline viewing (use similar drm to how Google does it with Google Music and Youtube), but as it stands, no one really needs more than 16GB--enough to store a metric ton of photos and cell-phone-camera-quality video.
    • by donut1005 (982510) on Friday August 09, 2013 @11:24AM (#44521713)
      I need more. Between videos, pictures, music and podcasts I am regularly looking for things to offload to my computer. Never assume enough is enough.
      • by Suki I (1546431)

        Mega dittos! More RAM is never enough.

      • Shouldn't you be offloading anyway? A mobile device is more likely to break, get lost, or get stolen. Wouldn't more storage mean more data to lose?
        • by Suki I (1546431)

          Not if it is backed up somewhere else. Like your Google drive, or something bigger.

          • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

            Not if it is backed up somewhere else. Like your Google drive, or something bigger.

            See that's what this is really about. Monetizing the online storage end of it. From the article, these huge 3D drives will have a useful life upto 5 years. Since you don't know exactly when in the 5 year period they will crap out, you better have all your stuff backed up somewhere. How much will Google or Dropbox or even Samsung charge your for a TB of storage? And what will your ISP charge you to transfer that much data? I'm pretty sure Sprint's unlimited plan won't cover TB transfers.

            While I see some g

        • by mindwhip (894744)

          Offloading doesn't give me instant access to my entire data collection on the go in poor 3G signal areas...
          (granted I only need about 300 GB for that including all the family videos and photos of weddings and Christmases and stuff... hand have a portable hard drive to move stuff when I need to but its increasing every year and a hard drive is one extra thing to carry about...)

          Just because I can carry all that data with me doesn't mean its the only copy of that data...

          The hard bit these days is naming and in

          • Yes, because you are looking at ALL your EVERY family weddings, christmases and whatnot ALL THE TIME.

            • by mindwhip (894744)

              No. Because when I do want to view one of them its often when I'm out and about visiting friends and relatives and something comes up in conversation that I want the picture or video of someone or some event of. Locked up in my home system its worth nothing and trying to download them from my home server when I need them interrupts the conversation.

              "have you seen Dave recently?"
              "Yeah he's lost a lot of weight"
              "really?"
              (15 minutes pause waiting for crappy 2G with 1 bar download)
              "yeah look here is the pictur

              • So then you keep some relevant pictures, not the whole thing. 5 pics of Dave having lost weight are just as good as 300. It's the law of diminishing returns.

      • Maybe you should purchase an armored car to transport that mobile device. Unless you steal everything. A terabyte of data even at the extremely low price of a dollar per gigabyte would mean $1,000 for the data. A more realistic price of $5 a gigabyte would mean $5,000 for the data. In any case it is not something I would want to carry around for fear of being robbed. I know of a man who got a 4 terabyte network hard drive with about 2,000 movies on it. There were a lot of movies from 2012 too. If som
        • by HiThere (15173)

          I feel it's quite difficult to get less than none, which is what we have. (Clearly your taste is different from mine.)

    • by somersault (912633) on Friday August 09, 2013 @11:27AM (#44521753) Homepage Journal

      You forgot offline music. Until network coverage is perfect, and data is almost free, offline playlists are one of the most basic things you need on a mobile device..

      • by timeOday (582209)
        Yes, but music is almost insignificant in size. For $22 you get a brand-name 32 GB MicroSD card that can hold about 100 hours of FLAC or 500 hours of mp3 - call it 5000 songs or 500 albums.

        Music is not going to drive 100GB+ mobile capacity, let alone terabytes.

      • by nurb432 (527695)

        Network coverage is good enough for most of us where we don't need *everything* we own locally. Sure. not 100% of all users, but the majority.

        Sure a couple of GB for when you are in a pinch and want to have something to listen to, or don't want to risk a presentation online, but really we don't need to store everything, all the time.

    • I don't think you've done much video recording on a smartphone lately
    • by afidel (530433) on Friday August 09, 2013 @11:36AM (#44521913)

      LULZ, I've got a 32GB with 4GB free, my music collection alone almost fills it, not to mention photos, video, and podcasts. At the rate I've been buying music my collection will fill the 32GB card by the end of the year (gotta love $5 albums from Amazon).

    • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Friday August 09, 2013 @11:39AM (#44521959) Journal

      It would be one thing if Netflix and other streaming sites allowed offline viewing

      That's OK. I gather there's a Swedish video rental site which provides an excellent service. Great download speeds, especially for popular stuff, available in a variety of formats. They also have this excellent feature that allows you to view off line, copy to any device of your choice and even transcode the format and resolution if you have the right tools installed of which there is a wide variety of Free, free and commercial ones for either your phone or PC.

      You should try it.

      It's very easy to use, except that whenever I try to put my credit card in, it always takes me to a site where impossibly proportioned women want to date my testicles. I guess they still have a few wrinkles to work out but otherwise the UI is excellent.

    • by noh8rz10 (2716597)
      Metric ton -> Boolean ton! 1024 kgs.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        I think it's 1024 kibigrams per mibigram now.

    • What about ripping videos and storing those? Or games? Lots of audio (seriously, 16gb isn't *that* much, especially if you do higher than 192kbit ripping), lots of pictures which keep getting bigger, lots of video which keeps getting better quality...
      • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

        What about ripping videos and storing those? Or games? Lots of audio (seriously, 16gb isn't *that* much, especially if you do higher than 192kbit ripping), lots of pictures which keep getting bigger, lots of video which keeps getting better quality...

        We're talking about a cell phone, right? Sure you can do all of that on a phone, but really, why? A casual user isn't going to need hundreds of GB of storage to do that and a serious and professional user is going to need tools that a phone can't provide.

        Phones, like tablets are really about consuming data, not creating it. Sure you can take photos and video clips with one, but even most low end digital cameras will give better quality images. In the end, if you are a content creator, you will use the be

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      640k should be enough for anybody! Hell, I remember getting a megabyte seemed to be overkill. Just ten years ago I wouldn't have believed that a gigabyte wouldn't be enough to run Windows well.

      I'd say something about my lawn, but I really don't care about my damned lawn.

    • by alen (225700)

      a lot of iOS apps are HUGE
      the newer games can easily hit 2GB of storage on your device if not more

      and you can just download the cloud onto your phone. why pay the carriers when you can download over cheap home connections and carry your media everywhere you go

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      16GB doesn't even cover a metric ton of any of those things, never mind all of those things.

      You know what offers offline viewing? Those obsolete bits of spinning plastic that everyone likes to disparage so much.

      Mobile devices have very restrictive bandwidth limits. Your monthly quota might not even cover a single movie.

      Sometimes I wonder if the shills actually use any of the products or services they like to whine about.

    • Lookup tables, for processor-intensive tasks (image recognition, 3d scanning, gaze tracking, etc.) that your phone's processor is too lazy to do in realtime.

    • by grumbel (592662)

      What would they store?

      Everything. When you have Terabytes of storages you stop thinking about storing photos, you store a non-stop video stream of everything. A 'photo' will just be a bookmark into that video stream. It means high quality lifelogging will be practical.

      Games are another thing, some modern games already take up 20GB and sooner or later they will find their way to smartphones and tablets. It would be possible to stream them instead of storing them on the phone, but so far there aren't really many games that do that

      • Oh god if phones get that feature I hope I can turn it off.
        This whole social networking, blogging, sharing videos, photos etc thing is not for me.

        What I can see happening though is our technology for implants is getting better very very quickly. More quickly than pretty much any person has any clue about. If you could get a neural implant to do IO (keyboard, mouse, audio, video) then it would be pretty feasible to run some pretty nice games on a cell phone with full immersion and then all that storage spac

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      I remember people saying that about hard drives larger than 20 MB.

    • Well what would you store on your PC if you had a Terrabyte of data?

      If you have more storage apps will find a way to make use of it. Less Cloud and more locally running. Is Cloud Computing a good thing or a bad thing now... I am getting confused.

      • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

        Well what would you store on your PC if you had a Terrabyte of data?

        If you have more storage apps will find a way to make use of it. Less Cloud and more locally running. Is Cloud Computing a good thing or a bad thing now... I am getting confused.

        Well, since most people don't have a TB of storage on their home computer and for most people their hard drive is not out of space, it would stand to reason that a TB of storage on their phone would also be underutilized. Most likely, a TB of storage will wind up being filled with cache and log files.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        A very large dump of /dev/random named " Secret plans to over throw the government" and mail it to the NSA from a anonymous postal drop box.

        It will utterly break the Best NSA cytologists brains for the next 10 years.

      • by kermidge (2221646)

        backups, movies, games, emulators w/disk images and virtual hard drives, lossless audio, OS images, virtual machines, installers from Windows days, backups of old Windows installs, distro images, twenty years of docs (admittedly, don't take so much space)... need I go on?

        I'm down to just 3.6TB and hurting (a half-TB drive recently died). If I went in and did some cleaning and consolidating, which I've been promising myself to do Real Soon Now, I could free up maybe a terabyte and lose a week in the process

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      fuck that.

      you know what has really been bugging me? I still can't get the same functionality as my ipod classic had out of a cellphone. I can't fit 80gigs of music into any of them and still have 80gigs of bugout data pack mashed on it.

      and yeah pretty much the places and situations I'd like to access that stuff the cloud is unavailable.

    • by mattack2 (1165421)

      I would store more videos from my Tivo on a theoretical iPad with this new memory.. or heck, use this IN a Tivo instead of spinning hard drives.

  • by intermodal (534361) on Friday August 09, 2013 @11:24AM (#44521703) Homepage Journal

    and I'll stop complaining about lack of SD slots. Especially since the SD cards mostly seem to run crappy FAT file systems. There's really no excuse for that.

    • and I'll stop complaining about lack of SD slots. Especially since the SD cards mostly seem to run crappy FAT file systems. There's really no excuse for that.

      I still want an SD card so I can get data on and off my phone when it won't fully boot.

      • Agreed, but not only on FAT. There's still no excuse for that being our only option.

      • by ackthpt (218170)

        and I'll stop complaining about lack of SD slots. Especially since the SD cards mostly seem to run crappy FAT file systems. There's really no excuse for that.

        I still want an SD card so I can get data on and off my phone when it won't fully boot.

        That's what we ran into here, I have a microSD to SD adapter clipped to the wall for when someone's mobile has gone inert.

      • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Friday August 09, 2013 @11:43AM (#44522019) Journal

        I still want an SD card so I can get data on and off my phone when it won't fully boot.

        Well, Android phones run Linux, so unless they've intentionally crappidied it (which they do a lot) it should be able to use any FS which Linux supports.

        To share a piece of wisdom that I got from slashdot, try formatting it in UDF. Every major OS can read and write it and even old ones like XP can read it without extra drivers.

        Dunno if the Android devs decided to delete it for no good reason like so many other things.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There is a reason that SD and micro SD 32 gigs and under use FAT 32. operating system interoperability FAT 32 works with all conmen OS's and embedded devices exFAT is a joke NTFS sucks when it comes to Linux support and dont get me started on that dam Craple file system.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        NTFS support on Linux is just fine. You need to update your FUD playbook.

        Got an NTFS USB hard drive from the warehouse store. Plugged it into the Linux boxes and it "just worked". Would reformat it if not for the lameness of Windows but it's all good anyways.

        It's Macs that don't have NTFS support.

        • Macs have NTFS read support, but not write.

          MS and Apple alike are unwilling to support any filesystem they don't have a patent on, unless it's so common they have no choice. That is why we are stuck with FAT and its variations. MS have given their support to ExFAT - but as it's a propritary format and MS holds patents on it anyway, linux can't read it. Which is probably MS's intention.

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Friday August 09, 2013 @11:32AM (#44521859) Homepage Journal

    Because I have 32GB SD in my SGS4 I tend to be lazy about cleaning it out because it's so damn full of stuff. So it sits there and I contemplate adding more memory.

    it's a vicious cycle

    • What we need is associative memory (indexed by key, not address) where you can send a binary query to the blocks of memory and only those satisfying it return a value. This could be as simple as sending a bit mask or as complex as processing a SQL query. But you want this to happen in the memory block itself.

      Without that were stuck with serial memory access over a bus whenever we are searching for something. With so much memory I can't imagine a large scale use other than video streams that doesn't boil

      • What you describe exists. It's called 'content-addressible memory.' It's used in a few niche applications, most most significent being ethernet switching.

        Content-addressible memory is how such a low-power device is able to keep up with the stream of incoming packets, looking up the appropriate port to to use for reaching each MAC address.

        • by gweihir (88907)

          Also, it is extremely expensive, as its space requirement grows with the square of the number of storage locations provided. And there is _no_ way around that.

    • I had a 32GB card on my SGS4, but I quickly started running out of space from nandroid backups (the huge system image for the S4 doesn't help...I was running low on space with only 2-3 backups). Combined with TitaniumBackup backups and other data, and it just wasn't enough. Ended up having to upgrade to a 64GB card.

  • By the time those levels materialize, wireless speeds will too, so any 'storage' burden will be on the backend/cloud, not the device. That's why slots are not being bothered with now.
    • by afidel (530433)

      Hahahaha, yeah right, when cellphone plans cap at 1,2.5, or 5GB streaming everything is kinda stupid.

  • would love to see hard disk drives become history. They had a good and long run. It's about time they retire!
    • by gweihir (88907)

      They will not anytime soon. They have about 80 years head-start on any other technologies (only 50 on FLASH) and except for some special scenarios will continue to provide the most bytes for the buck by 1-2 orders of magnitude. Also, there is no reason to retire them, as they work fine for a number of applications and their characteristics are well-known.

  • We'll have computers where just one chip will have the CPU, RAM and the storage. We'll also have humanoid robots, that will use these chips as their brain.

    However, the chips will be volatile. So one day, your robot will be running low on power, trying its best to find a source of electricity. But then it'll run out, and essentially die. However, it will get to be born anew.

    And there will be faint traces of who/what it was before its death, left in its brain as echos of a past life.

    • One chip package, maybe... one chunk of silicon, probably not. The fab processes are too different. You can fab RAM with a CPU process, but it's totally not cost effective. That's why even today, ARM9 microcontrollers normally max out around 256kB, and it's more like 16-64kB.

      CPU-fabbed RAM is VERY expensive. The more recent crop of SoCs increase the ram by stacking 2 or 3 wafers in the same package, so each type (flash, ram, or CPU) can be made via the most cost-effective process, then combined into a singl

  • When I first read the headline, I thought it was about something else [wikipedia.org].
  • Looks like I'll have to buy the White Album again. ;-)

    Slightly more seriously, unless we go through another round of media files getting bigger ... I have no idea of what I would need terabytes of stuff on my phone for.

    Having said that, I'm willing to find out.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "I have no idea of what I would need terabytes of stuff on my phone for."

      That would defeat efforts to control online "piracy" for once everyone can swap terabytes of music, apps, movies and porn as easily as our ancient predecessors traded cassette tapes, the need to go online would be reduced.

  • ...so little battery power to process it all.
  • Why do these stupid stories creep up time and again? There is nothing revolutionary here. And a start-up demonstrating anything is more of an indication that this will not ever materialize, than the opposite. A look at past "revolutions" show that basically noting materialized, and the few things that did took decades and were far less revolutionary than advertised.

  • And still, major US carriers will still refuse to offer 64GB or larger smartphones (except perhaps the iPhone due to Apple's clout) while the rest of the world enjoys terabyte smartphones.

  • Storage is sorted as far as I'm concered, I'm pretty happy with the size of micro-SD cards, HDDs etc.

    But backup has a long way to go, I'd love to see some kind of open distributed File system where you offer up say 1tb to get .5tb of peer space where you're data gets encrypted locally before being stored across a fault tolerant distributed file system, with other people using the same software and no middle men, so no NSA snooping etc.

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist

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