Toshiba tech paves way for 100Gb Flash chips
Massive capacity iPods coming... but not for a few years yet
Toshiba has developed what it believes will be a key component of Flash chips capable of storing 100Gb of data. Unfortunately, you're going to have to wait four more generations of Flash technology to get it.
Toshiba's Sonos Flash structure
By then, Flash chips will be made using a 10nm process, Toshiba reckons. Today's Flash chips are made at 65nm or greater. The next step is around 50nm, then 45nm and 32nm. By the time Flash makers reach the last of these, current 'floating gate' Flash designs are expected to become impractical.
Toshiba's pitch for the successor design is Sonos - Silicon Oxide Nitride Oxide Semiconductor - which sandwiches a 1.2nm-thick layer of silicon nanocrystals between two 1nm-thick oxide films. There's a nitride layer in there too, said Toshiba, and it's that that holds the electrons that record the cell's single data bit.
At this point, the details get impenetrably quantum mechanical, but the upshot is that the structure, a revised version of which Toshiba's boffins announced to others of their ilk yesterday, makes for faster data writing and data deletion operations, and holds information for longer - ten years, Toshiba calculates, and that's before it further optimises the technology over the coming years.
Re: skipping gens
Skipping gens is does not work because each generation has its lessons to learn and new problems to overcome. The tool sets that are used to create the chips have to be refined to work with the new generation.
First: some photographers use RAW formats, and then each picture can easily take more than 10MB. My 4GB card holds about 200 pictures in RAW, and that's not enough for even very short vacations. Second: some photographers do not dump their whole cards online and instead publish carefully selected pictures. Still, I would be more interested in SDD drive (say, 500GB capacity and near 0ms access time) than memory card for my camera.
@ GB's and Gb's
OK so it's only 12Gb's. I have never filled up my 512Mb SD card on my camera even at 500Kb per picture the new drive will give me 24000 pictures. Enough for a whole holiday. Just think how long that would take to upload to my Flickr account. Last time I took 300 pictures it took twenty minutes, so do the maths. Hopefully by the time it comes out, we'll have ADSL2 at 24MB connection, as standard.
If they know already that it's 4 generations away, why can't they just skip over a couple of the intervening ones?
100GB on a Micro SD card
In real terms is that what will be possible by gen 4?