Why Facebook Can’t Get its Dream Memory Chip

Why Facebook and eBay Can't Get their Dream Memory ChipDuring the Flash Memory Summit last August Facebook’s Jason Taylor, Director of Capacity Engineering and Analysis, asked in his keynote speech for a flash chip with dramatically lower cost per gigabyte, saying that he would readily give up speed and endurance to achieve this lower cost.  Taylor called this “Cold Flash” and said he was willing to use something that was “Write Once, Read Many” or WORM for data that was unlikely to change over its lifetime.  He said this was Facebook’s “Ask of the Industry.”

That same sentiment was echoed yesterday at Samsung’s Memory Solutions Forum by eBay’s Distinguished Engineer and Technologist Roark Hilomen, who said that he could live with 1/3rd the number of writes that normal flash supports as long as he could get it for 1/4 the price.

Unfortunately this is simply not possible.

Let’s do a little math to understand Continue reading “Why Facebook Can’t Get its Dream Memory Chip”