With the iPod nano replacing the mini this week, Flash memory is very much hitting the headlines. Samsung supplied (controversially, because of rumours of big discounts) much of the memory used in these sexy little players and, if its predictions are right, we could be seeing solid state storage in the rest of the range before the end of next year.
This exciting prospect comes after the current apple (no pun intended) in the industry’s eye announced that it expects to mass produce 32GB Flash drives in the second half of 2006. These super enlarged drives are the result of a breakthrough in the price of manufacturing 16 gigabit (approx 2GB, code K9WAG08U1M) NAND Flash Memory (NAND is like the stem cell of Flash storage as it can be easily strapped together to make larger capacities for use in a multitude of devices).
Consequently, Samsung says it has worked out a cost efficient way putting 16 of these 16 gigabit NAND modules (stay with me mathematically challenged readers!) through its production lines. By comparison, a 2GB nano uses just one 16 gigabit NAND module (see above) and a 4GB nano uses two. “You will be able to take your entire music and personal video libraries with you,” exclaimed Chang-Gyu Hwang, big cheese of the company’s semiconductor operations. In this case, entire adds up to around 8,000 MP3s (at 128Kbps encoding) or 20 DVD movies.
Of course, by this time Apple may well have moved its iPod range towards bigger capacities, but – as it proved in replacing the mini with the nano – the company is more than prepared to hold or even reduce disk size in order to accommodate better technology. See: techy science can make your mouth water :)