SSDs that Don’t Wear Out

The End of NAND Flash Wear?This is a bad day for The SSD Guy.  I just finished publishing an eight-part series explaining How Controllers Maximize SSD Life, then my evil twin The Memory Guy today published a post telling of a new flash design from Macronix that might just eliminate the flash wear-out mechanism!

But my concerns are inconsequential compared to the feelings of all those folks who have devoted phenomenal time and energy to develop wear management algorithms.

This all stems from an article in the IEEE Spectrum that details a flash chip design that Macronix will present at the IEDM conference later this month.  The prototype has already undergone over 100 million erase/write cycles without any signs of impending failure, and researchers expect it to surpass one billion or more cycles, but it will take several months to perform that test.

We may just find that the easiest way to extend SSD life is to use NAND flash that doesn’t wear out in the first place!

 

2 Responses to SSDs that Don’t Wear Out

  • Very interesting. I wonder if the added functions on the chip (heating) and added diodes come at the cost of density (and hence cost) while eliminating the endurance problem? Will this become a flash version that sits above SLC flash in the hierarchy?

  • Ian Clarke says:

    This goes to show that just like every other technology, SSDs are evolving and quickly. In the mean time, SSD longjevity has a lot to do with the firmware associated with the WRITE algorithms. Some manufacturers even offer a 7 year guarantee on the SSD drives! So the really good news is that customers shouldn’t be concerned about drive life when in reality a Whiptail array will outlast most spindle arrays TODAY.

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