Giant Breakthrough in Flash RAM Lifetime

Giant Breakthrough in Flash RAM Lifetime - RF CafeThe main obstacle preventing solid state hard drives (SSHD) for computers is the fragility of the high-speed PCRAM structure. After about 10,000 read/write cycles the insulator in the storage cell is wasted. Engineers at Macronix knew that annealing the IC at high temperature for many hours eliminates the problem, but the process would be prohibitively expensive. In a stroke of collective genius, they tried effecting a resistive element in each cell's gate region that could heat the area to 800 °C for a few milliseconds, thereby annealing on demand. It worked. Power consumption is kept to a minimum by selectively heating only cells that exhibit degradation or that according to a logging record are approaching their normal lifetime limit. Tests thus far have indicated essentially unlimited lifetimes. Right now the memory time is that which is used in Flash drives (aka thumb drives) and some personal electronics, but the industry will soon be scheming to finally replace forever the magnetic spinning HDDs we now use.

Giant Breakthrough in Flash RAM Lifetime - RF Cafe

Posted  January 2013