The reason that flash or other PROM memories will not supplant magnetic storage is that flash is inherently transient, whereas magnetic storage is inherently persistent.
Data in flash is stored as a potential difference, an excess of electrons in one location vs. some other location. Because the energy state is not minimum, electrons will diffuse (by quantum tunnelling or other kinds of leakage), on average, to a lower energy state, corrupting the data. A good flash device might be able to store data for 10 years or more, but it will inevitably degrade.
By contrast, the two states, '1' vs. '0', in a magnetic medium both are in energy minima: Diffusion simply retains the stored data, except under statistically VERY rare occasions.
As people move from hardcopy to electronic data storage, what do you think they will want? What about wedding photos taken 50 or more years ago? What about historical documents or long-term legal documents such as mortgage agreements? What about state or county records such as birth certificates?
Does any reader think that 10 or even 50 years of reliable flash storage will be acceptable? Consider the legal liability in convincing a corporation or government agency to use flash for permanent data storage!
In my opinion, flash has its uses in temporary devices such as computer ROMs; otherwise it can not replace magnetic storage.
On the other hand, perhaps "flash" somehow might be redesigned to store data without potential differences; this MIGHT make solid-state permanent memory competitive with moving magnetic media such as tapes or hard discs.
Although Intel also works in the GPU business, products from ATI and NVIDIA lead the way. Something similar is happening in the SSD world. For example, check out products from Fusion-io (http://www.fusionio.com). They make boards for enterprise systems as well as personal computers. Since their products are PCIe-based, they connect to the Northbridge chip and so offer 3-orders of magnitude increase in speed over magnetic storage.
although this would offset some of the benefits of SSD's i don't see how it would replace them if the strategy is anything like turbo memory...unless their looking to put 100 gigs directly on the motherboard there are plenty of other benefits to the SSD drives besides simply faster boot up times the braidwood technology seems to address from this article, such as power consumption, operating temperature and range, shock
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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