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Moore’s Law for Storage to Level Out Soon?

May 23, 2009

Although engineers continually devise new ways to conquer obstacles previously thought insurmountable, in the case of solid state storage, we may actually be approaching a point where the current theory just doesn’t work any more. The size of cells in memory arrays is getting so small that each one now holds just 100 electrons. That means that an array based on current theory can only get 100 times bigger before it hits its absolute maximum — one electron per cell — and even that is ridiculous.

There is a band-aid solution, one that is in reality already being applied: multi-layer cell arrays. You just stack one one array on top of the other and boom, double the size. Trouble is you end up with a lot of heat being trapped in there. And even stacking the arrays has its limits. So what’s next? Don’t ask me. Just don’t expect to keep being able to store twice as much stuff in your laptop every year from now till eternity. And the next time you see a hard drive or memory architecture engineer, give them a big hug from me.

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