Is Silicon Cheaper Than Iron?

Byte Magazine LogoA colleague recently told me about a quote made by science fiction author Jerry Pournelle prior to 1990 that “Silicon is cheaper than iron.” This is something that Pournelle wrote as a columnist for Byte Magazine.

My friend explained that this, dubbed “Pournell’s Second Law,” was a very early argument that SSDs would eventually render HDDs obsolete.

I found a credible review of the statement in a web page  that excerpts articles in the September 1990 issue of Byte Magazine.  Byte celebrated its 15th anniversary in this issue by Continue reading “Is Silicon Cheaper Than Iron?”

How Many IOPS Do You Really Need?

From Report: "How Many IOPS Do You Really Need?"

IT professionals find it difficult to determine which SSD or flash array to buy or even whether they can get the speed they need from standard HDDs.  There is an extraordinarily wide rage of IOPS (from hundreds to millions), latencies, and capacities, and this can be confusing.  A new Objective Analysis report: How Many IOPS Do You Really Need provides, through a survey of IT managers and other end users, an understanding of the performance needs of various applications including IOPS, latency, and capacity.

This report answers questions that have never previously Continue reading “How Many IOPS Do You Really Need?”

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 Continue reading “SSDs that Don’t Wear Out”