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Current solid-state drive technology is doomed, says Microso

 
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jaypark12
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:10 pm    Post subject: Current solid-state drive technology is doomed, says Microso Reply with quote

Flash storage has its advantages, such as packing a lot of capacity in a smaller footprint than the traditional hard drive, and the ability to access that data quickly. That’s not going to last, say researchers with the University of California, San Diego and Microsoft Research: 2024 will be the year of reckoning for flash and solid-state drive technology.

Using current chips as a basis, researchers set out to gauge the state of flash technology [PDF] overall. They found that latency and data errors increased as drive size increased. These issues worsened to the point of making the drive too unstable somewhere around 16TB, which the researchers say we will reach sometime in the middle of the next decade.

Making matters worse, the speed advantage that SSDs now enjoy — a common reason to chose the technology over traditional hard drives — is expected to disappear. By 2024, latency will increase by as much as 2.5 times over current rates, the study says.

phase change memory“While the growing capacity of SSDs and high [data access] rates will make them attractive in many applications, the reduction in performance that is necessary to increase capacity while keeping costs in check may make it difficult for SSDs to scale as a viable technology for some applications,” researchers conclude.

This is definitely a roadblock that looks unavoidable, but there are plenty of technologies in the works that could take the place of flash storage. One possibility is 3D memory, a technology that has been around for the better part of the last decade. 3D seems to be the future in memory, and there are several companies currently working to make it a reality.

3D is not available commercially yet, so that is not an immediate solution to the problem. One thing that is positive here though is the time we have to find a solution. 2024 is a long ways away and 16TB is a lot of space, it will be quite a while before this becomes a problem. Who knows, by 2024 either magnetic RAM or phase-change memory might be mature enough to replace flash.

That said, even the most basic computer users are requiring much more storage space then ever before. You can blame this on digital media and faster broadband, allowing us to download to our hearts content. We need to store that somewhere.

Of course with cloud storage all the rage these days, this storage problem may become irrelevant for the consumer.

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