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As Flash memory approaches physical limits, a new technique promises faster, bigger, more reliable SSDs

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RedSharkFlash memory is about to get bigger

EET Asia has just reported that a breakthrough by Samsung Electronics will lead to faster, bigger and more reliable SSDs

Even though we've become used to bigger and cheaper flash memory devices, the technology is reaching the limit of what is possible with current design methods. Specifically, the problems arise when the patterns on the chips become so small that adjacent memory cells interfere with each other, causing errors.

Using two separate techniques, 3D Charge Trap Flash (CTF) and a new vertical interconnect technology, the scalability and reliability of the memory can be significantly improved.

Samsung says that the new chips will be between 2x and 10x more reliable and that they will be able to stack as many as 24 cell layers in a single chip.

"S" curve

Anyone familiar with the works of Raymond Kurzweil will see a familiar pattern in this - an "S" curve. This is where at the start of a new technology, progress is slow. Then it accelerates for the main part of its life, before finally tailing off as some physical limit is approached. This seems to contradict the drift of Kurzweil's work, which is that technology always accelerates. But if you "zoom out" and look at things at a macro scale, what usually happens is that as one S curve finishes, another one takes over. A good example of this is overclocking CPUs. Just as the heat problem became a brick wall for this technique, multi-core processors appeared and, in reality, the rate of progress has remained on an exponential course.

Tags: Technology