Why is it that the Flash memory manufacturers bemoan the state of the Flash memory market and still increase production in their Far East factories? Surely they must be predicting an increase in Nand Flash use that will require such mega-production?
Well, there is little doubt that Flash memory is already the removable storage medium of choice for consumers and businesses. With 64GB already available on a memory stick, there is little need for greater capacities for most data transfers.
So while the market availability of smaller capacities increases and corresponding prices decrease in accordance with Moore’s Law (Kingston has recently stopped offering 1GB SD cards for instance) this is still not using the increased production capacities of vendors.
Inevitably, Nand Flash is being used beyond removable storage and is now being adopted increasingly as operating storage and back-up in the form of solid-state disk (SSD) drives. These devices are being designed with the same form factors and interfaces as more traditional hard disks (HDD) and are already used extensively in industrial applications.
Industrial computers require fast, rugged and cool-running storage, and SSD provides this perfectly. With no moving parts such drives give off 85 per cent less heat than HDD and can operate in more extreme temperatures.
Their versatility will eventually lead to them replacing HDD as the price per megabyte falls and it is falling as fast as the UK government’s popularity ratings.
Imagine the heat saved in a City of London server room, already struggling to
cope with the enormous power required to cool their over-worked disks, or the
efficiencies gained by a
boot-up over 10 times faster than existing disks.
We are on top of the hype curve at present, but production planners like
are rarely wrong and they are signalling their intentions to the world.
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