back to article A day may come when flash memory is USELESS. But today is not that day

The era of flash memory is anticipated to run out of road in the 2020s and newer technologies involving resistance and electron spin are poised to take over, delivering higher capacities, greater speed and DRAM-style addressability. Some people ask if one of these new technologies could actually unify dynamic memory (RAM) and …

  1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    why no mention of Everspin?

    they seem to have actual working MRAM, used by LSI and Dell. Unless it is no longer used or for some other reason "does not count" ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: why no mention of Everspin?

      They have working MRAM, but it is in megabit densities per chip. They are 'working on' gigabit densities per chip, but with other technologies moving to terabit densities per chip (already there if you count stacking) it isn't really competing in the general purpose storage market with flash and the other contenders mentioned.

  2. YARR

    Open question...

    "NAND flash memory .... is not byte-addressable. Unlike disk or tape it has to be written in blocks of bytes at a time, with each byte going into a cell."

    So disks read/write individual bytes rather than blocks?

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Open question...

      A disc doesn't have to write a full block, it's the file systems that do that.

      Not all file systems use blocks, and those that do generally allow you to choose the block size if you want a different tradeoff between storing the location of the data and the data itself.

      1. nerdbert

        Re: Open question...

        Actually, you do have to write a full block in a disk drive, like it or not. Parity and error correction bits are spread throughout the sector in a disk drive, which means if you were to attempt to change less than a block you'd destroy the ECC, munge the SOVA, and corrupt the detectors. You could modify the file system interface to hide the fact that you're not writing a complete sector, but the drive itself has to write a complete sector.

  3. MondoMan

    Rapid cooling that leads to amorphous (glassy) structure

    In phase-change memory, it's rapid cooling of the chalcogenide that "traps" it in an amorphous (high-resistivity) structure -- slow cooling gives it time to form crystalline domains.

  4. earl grey

    read far-fetched as far-retched

    and it seemed like a lot of ideas were thrown up.

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