With flash memory, the type we use in our USB Sticks, being used in more and more technologies, the original 10,000 re-writes look like they may not always be enough.
Sure, for the average home user that means decades of flash memory before it starts wearing out, but if you decide to use your flash memory to, say, boost your PC’s RAM (something that faster flash drives, such as ours, can do in Windows Vista) this lifetime can be considerably shorter. In the worst case scenarios, the memory may only last a handful of years.
While this doesn’t affect most users, and even those it does affect currently have to see it as the price they pay for the usage they get out of the memory, it would be nice if we could somehow increase the number of rewrites each chip can handle.
Well, it seems that pretty soon, we may be able to.
The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and the University of Tokyo have teamed up to create new flash memory technologies that allow the memory to last ten thousand times as many rewrites as currently. With around one hundred million rewrites, it’s unlikely that even with faster speeds becoming available we’ll see any chips running out any time in the future. Not only that, but it can also be manufactured 3 times slimmer than existing technology.
Of course, as soon as this technology is available on the market, we’ll revisit this story and let you know how it affects the Promotional USB market. If nothing else, it can only be a good thing if the higher use devices switch to it, allowing the price of memory for promotional gifts to come down without compromising quality.