Flash drives move over! MRAM is the new up and comer

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StumpedTechy

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http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1986857,00.asp

The memory-chip industry moved one step further from its dependence on power with Freescale Semiconductor's new memory chip, released on Monday. The MR2A16A is the first Magnetoresistive Random Access Memory (MRAM) device to hit the market.

Magnetic power seeks to solve the problem of losing data once the power is turned off in devices such as digital cameras, mobile phones, and printers. The chip relies on a technology called magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ). Prior to this product, memory chips relied on electric charge or current flows. Flash memory, which is electric, can keep data after power goes out but MRAM is faster and it will last longer than a flash chip.

"The key difference between MRAM and flash is that MRAM is approximately six orders of magnitude faster in programming than flash," said Saied Tehrani, director of MRAM technology with Freescale. "And flash has a limitation on how many times you can rewrite it. With MRAM, you can do an unlimited number of rewriting, which is something you cannot do with flash."
 
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Very interesting, and probably very expensive for the near future. In that article it mentions that Flash drives have a limited number of rewrites. Anybody know the expected lifespan of a Flash drive?
 

StumpedTechy

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Depends on the flash drive you have and what tehcnology it uses but its from hundreds of thousands of writes to in the million range.

Its not a low number but when you have a limiting number vrs an infinite number I would go with inifinite.

The nice thing about this is the MRAM also removes the "moving parts" problem that HDD's have. I have not heard mention of the size these drives can get up to though so really not sure in what applications it would be good.
 

StumpedTechy

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LOL Rumpo... I am always a little slow on the uptake... my wife makes sure to remind of this all the time.
 
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In that article it mentions that Flash drives have a limited number of rewrites. Anybody know the expected lifespan of a Flash drive?
Generally 10,000 to 500,000 rewrites for USB flash devices, depending on the flash memory quality. The millions of writes figure above is only for high quality industrial NAND. Not much of a problem for portable storage, but a real problem if your using the flash memory for virtual memory or a paging file. This is why if your using flash memory to boot a windows system, you need to use microsoft's EWF (enhanced write filter) to keep from killing the drive in a matter of seconds. (windows can't keep it's fingers off the paging file)
 

JohnWill

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This product is a LONG ways from replacing magnetic media.
 
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