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Engineers use heat to create 100-million-cycle flash memory

By Matthew ¬∑ 14 replies
Dec 3, 2012
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  1. Engineers at Macronix, one of the world's largest flash memory makers, have reportedly developed a new technology that can extend the life of NAND cells by a hundred times -- perhaps more -- by simply applying heat. Most of today's flash...

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  2. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    This is a huge breakthrough. The wearing out of SSDs is often exagerated, But this brings it to the point where the consumer will never eeven have to think about wearing out a SSD. This + Price decrease=future.
    avoidz likes this.
  3. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,965   +1,230

    I can't see "the industry" really getting behind this from the standpoint if the flash cells last longer and don't "wear out" or stop working, then they won't sell as many?
    avoidz likes this.
  4. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    from another standpoint, OEMs might become interested in putting these in the everyday cheap desktop PC, then the industry would hop behind it with big dollar signs in their eyes, wouldnt you think?
  5. Matthew

    Matthew TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 5,270   +104

    p51d007 In my opinion, that assumes a large portion of current SSD sales stem from people replacing drives with exhausted p/e cycles, and I don't think that's the case, so what is there to lose? There'll always be some new innovation to attract buyers, be it speed, capacity or just some random feature like the one in the article (imagine how many new enterprise customers this tech would draw in). Besides, I bet if flash companies were *that* concerned about this tech reducing unit shipments, they'd just offset the loss with a sizable premium on the drives that have a zillion p/e cycles. Also, if even one company adopted the tech, I assume the rest would have to follow suit to remain relevant, especially as it became more affordable and mainstream.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  6. So I guess in the end they will be hotter than HDDs, will consume more power and - hell - you'll probably fry egs on them which is not that bad. I already fry egs on my computer ... I will be able to fry more in the same time. Great!
  7. avoidz

    avoidz TS Guru Posts: 460   +59

    If only the same could be done for batteries.
  8. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,478   +3,035

    Hallo, tech-support? I tried to increase SSD longevity by heating it up in a microwave, and it suddenly stopped working... I think I want my money back...
  9. "Hallo, tech-support? I tried to increase SSD longevity by heating it up in a microwave, and it suddenly stopped working... I think I want my money back..."

    Answer from tech-support: I'm sorry, sir. You must heating up your SSD in an oven or stove, not in a microwave. And, I'm truly sorry you can't have your money back. Please buy another SSD and good luck with the new one.. :D *LoL
  10. Scshadow

    Scshadow TS Evangelist Posts: 566   +206

    Uh... thats a bit of a stretch. It only heats for a few milliseconds and only has to happen on occasion to revive the dead cells. And the oxide layer is so small, I doubt you'd even be able to feel whether or not your drive is in a healing cycle even if you were touching the drive.
  11. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,215   +177

    "Years ago, engineers found that they could restore this oxide layer by applying heat -- specifically, by baking flash chips in an oven at 250C (482F)."

    That's well in the range of my oven. But also within the temp range of melting some solder joints. I haven't had any SDD drives fail, but is this a potential solution to repair a failed drive? What would be required to prepare a hard drive for a baking? Other than removing the plastic parts, anything else?

    What frequency defines the "occasional jolt of heat" to keep it healthy? This is sounding like the new Defrag of the SDD world. =0
  12. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,966   +223

    Yea, I have the same thoughts but also keep in mind that for this to be viable to test we need to wear out an SSD.
    And I'm not even close to wearing out any of mine, perhaps in a decades time or so, which also helps to put this "problem" into perspective I think :)
  13. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,415   +145

    So, who's going to be the first to take off the casing of their ssd and give it a pass through the oven?
    If I had a dead SSD on hand I'd go for it, though I think I'd use a hair dryer.
  14. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,397   +303

    So iJesus is already here?
  15. Somewhat obscure news to those of you don't follow computer history. BUT, this moves SSD into living as long as regular hard drives. It will transform the normal user computing experience. Since it's flash, this makes possible to drag your complete system (in a phone size device) along with you to any hardware standard PC. Or to put it another way, your phone size device can plug into standardized full size systems and you can continue working with all the full size device display capability because BOOT can be close to instant.

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