One of the more fun aspects of last week’s Flash Memory Summit was the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award. This is something that the show’s management has allowed me to do for the past four events.
This year’s award went to Dr. Simon Sze, who co-invented the floating gate transistor (the basis for all flash, EEPROM, and EPROM) at Bell Labs back in 1967.
Sze and his partner Dawon Kahng were finishing lunch in the company cafeteria with a cheesecake dessert. The two discussed what would happen if a MOSFET was built with extra layers like the layers in the cake. Their intent was to use semiconductors to replace Continue reading “Cheesecake and Floating Gates”
At the Flash Memory Summit in August I had the honor of awarding Fujio Masuoka, the inventor of both NAND and NOR flash, the Flash Memory Summit Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is given to the giants of the flash memory industry to acknowledge their contributions.
Dr. Masuoka first described NOR flash at the 1984 International Electron Device Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco, and NAND flash at the same venue in 1987. His paper “A new flash EEPROM cell using triple polysilicon technology” introduced a technology that is now used everywhere.
The award has also been given to Intel’s Flash team who brought the first commercial products to the market, and SanDisk co-founder Eli Harari, for devising a way to manufacture a floating gate.
David Schwaderer made a video of the presentation and posted it HERE. Have a watch!
During 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”
At the Flash Memory Summit yesterday ES Jung, PhD, EVP & GM for the Samsung R&D Center, explained the inner workings of Samsung’s new V-NAND vertical NAND flash technology. I will shortly be writing a series to explain what a 3D NAND is since there is little on the web that gives clear details about the technology.
One key attribute of most 3D NAND approaches is the use of a charge trapping layer. This has to do with the difficulty of manufacturing sideways floating gates.
Dr Jung delighted the show’s audience by explaining that a standard floating gate is like Continue reading “Samsung’s View on Charge Trap Flash”
During the Flash Memory Summit in August three panelists were asked to tell what they thought would be the top ten trends for NAND flash in 2012.
The panelists were:
- Troy Winslow, director of product and channel marketing for the Intel NAND group
- Radoslav Danilak, SandForce founder and now CEO of StorCloud
Here are mine:
- Enterprise SSDs will be used in all data centers
- There is still a lot of growth in NAND
- Controllers will get more sophisticated
- System software will be designed for NAND first
- Tablet PCs will morph into newer devices
- Not everyone can be a successful SSD supplier
- NOR has a long future in code storage
- NAND in PCs is a threat to DRAM, not HDDs
- The death of flash is not imminent
- SSDs in PCs will lose out to NAND + HDD
Over ten future posts I will elaborate on these. As I do I will add hot links to the list above to guide readers to these predictions. If any of the hot links are inactive, come back later and check again.
Many are detailed in reports on the Objective Analysis Reports page.