Faster, Cheaper Mobile Memory on the Horizon

Two new advances in solid-state memory technology should result in faster and higher-capacity memory for mobile devices, without a corresponding increase in price.As it stands today, most memory in mobile devices is NAND flash memory, which work by storing data in an array of one-bit cells. Adding more memory to such a device means adding more cells, and that means higher cost. Today's example is the announcement of a new 16 GB iPhone and a 32 GB iPod Touch, each with twice the former maximum available memory, and each $100 more than the former top-of-the-line model.

It's good news for SMBs trying to fit mobile capabilities into their budgets, then, that Intel and ST Microelectronics have come up with a form of solid-state memory based on phase-change technology--the same idea behind writable CDs and DVDs. Instead of a simple on or off in each memory cell, the phase-change approach allows four states, meaning more information can be packed into the same storage area with no increase in cost. The technology only exists on paper so far, but according to H.-S. Philip Wong, professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University, "Now it's going to happen. There's no doubt about it."

In other flash storage news, Intel and Micron announced the actual creation of a NAND memory chip that is capable of 200Mbps read and 100Mbps write speeds, a significant advance over to the current 40Mbps read and 20Mbps.Technology Review, IntoMobile

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