We are beginning to realize the power of flash memory. Flash memory is fast, efficient, compact, and now it’s becoming more affordable than it has ever been before, but it has a few limitations that we need to get past if we are going to continue to use it for our primary data storage solution.
This is a big problem especially if you are depending solely on flash memory to hold your data. Even if you don’t completely rely on flash you still want to maximize the lifespan of anything you buy. Fortunately, there is progress being made as we speak on this very problem.
Engineers at the Taiwan based company Macronix, have found that applying extreme heat to memory cells within NAND flash devices can bring previously unusable cells back to life. Temperatures used are around 800˚C (1472˚F) and could be applied in short bursts to “jolt” the life back into the cells. Current efforts have seen the flash cells surpass 100 million cycles! The engineers at Macronix are hoping to show off this “self-healing” flash memory at the next IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), but it’s going to be some time before consumers will be able to get their hands on this new technology.
More information on this can be found here.