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Postage Stamp-Sized SSDs On The Horizon

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 20 comments

1 TB in a stamp-sized SSD sounds too good to be true.

The Nikkei reports that a team of Japanese researchers have developed a technology that will help reduce the size of SSDs by more than 90-percent. This will make the drives cheaper to produce while boosting energy efficiency by 70-percent. The new technology should also help SSDs become the standard storage system in the near future, possibly even replacing current platter-based mechanical drives--at least for system booting.

Led by Professor Tadahiro Kuroda, the team is composed of researchers from Toshiba and the Keio University in Tokyo. The team has created a 1 TB SSD prototype the size of a small postage stamp, consisting of 128 NAND flash memory chips and one controller chip. The miniature storage device boasts transfer speeds of 2 Gbps, and also uses radio communications which will ultimately make it cheaper to manufacture.

Currently the team doesn't expect to see commercial versions of the product until 2012.

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Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    HansVonOhain , February 11, 2010 10:28 PM
    The sata port is bigger than a postage stamp lol
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    HansVonOhain , February 11, 2010 10:28 PM
    The sata port is bigger than a postage stamp lol
  • Display all 20 comments.
  • -6 Hide
    liquid0h , February 11, 2010 10:43 PM
    Yeah, definitely will have to use mini sata.
  • 9 Hide
    foxsterling , February 11, 2010 11:38 PM
    "and also uses radio communications which will ultimately make it cheaper to manufacture"

    sounds fishy to me... what the heck does a device the size of a postage stamp need radio communications for, and how the heck does that make it cheaper to manufacture?
  • 0 Hide
    the_krasno , February 11, 2010 11:57 PM
    What a coincidence! I was planning to build myself a new PC in 2012! :3
  • 0 Hide
    JonathanDeane , February 12, 2010 1:22 AM
    So if it has built in wireless does this mean I could just plug a few of these into power strip under my desk and have hard drives just parked anywhere I have room? (I kind of like that idea, no more opening my case just to add some more storage...)
  • 0 Hide
    gekko668 , February 12, 2010 1:51 AM
    That's nice! I want that in my tower right now.
  • 0 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , February 12, 2010 3:11 AM
    Sounds interesting. Does that mean pc cases will be smaller too?
  • 0 Hide
    rpmrush , February 12, 2010 3:25 AM
    Science fiction I tell ya!
  • -1 Hide
    micky_lund , February 12, 2010 6:46 AM
    will it make normal ssds cheaper...if it does, its good...
    if not, noone will buy them
  • 0 Hide
    knightmike , February 12, 2010 9:08 AM
    One word: Memristor.
  • 0 Hide
    kingnoobe , February 12, 2010 10:20 AM
    They just said it would micky (of course this remains to be seen. Just like all other new tech it may never come out. Although this actually has a prototype and isn't just a theory). To the other no it won't make towers any smaller. As you got to remember the hard drive space in the tower is realitvy small when you consider the motherboard, video card/s, cd/dvd drives, power supply. So i guess for mini towers it might help, but not much. But could help in finding space for big vid cards for lan boxes.
  • 0 Hide
    WyomingKnott , February 12, 2010 12:19 PM
    JonathanDeaneSo if it has built in wireless does this mean I could just plug a few of these into power strip under my desk and have hard drives just parked anywhere I have room? (I kind of like that idea, no more opening my case just to add some more storage...)

    Just a flaming guess, but I interpreted that to mean that the (apparently stacked) chips would communicate with each other using a very low power local wireless protocol, eliminating the need to interconnect the chips. If the range of the transmission is more than a few millimeters, I would be surprised.
    However, three months after these come out, there will be a Black Hat demonstration of reading the memory activity using a netbook and a parabolic reflector made from a soup can, from a distance of five kilometers, while the operator is blindfolded and drinking a beer.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 12, 2010 1:28 PM
    no word on the actual speed. but i guess it will be poor - if i can take that radio communication as a hint :) 
  • 0 Hide
    4ILY45 , February 12, 2010 3:22 PM
    i was hoping tis uses light speed data transfer methods (intel's light peak)
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 13, 2010 2:09 PM
    I highly doubt this drive will have high iops. And it does not differ much with current SD cards (when produced to a smaller die).

    One thing that could also be interesting is when manufacturers would create a SSD with just the memory, while leaving the controller on the mobo. This could reduce cost for SSD's, but also reduces performance.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 16, 2010 1:46 AM
    The SSD cards will be faster and smaller and more versatile. Users will have far faster data transfer from solid state devices and be able to transmit data wirelessly using less power and batteries will last longer 70% longer. Imagine what it will do to the cell phone industry. If you have a cell phone, there will be no need to have an iPod. Good bye Nano. The additional space freed up and functionality will enable smaller devices to carry better camera technology. Star Trek has tri-quarters. This now makes it's possible.
  • 0 Hide
    flinxsl , February 16, 2010 4:52 PM
    If I were to guess at what they mean by "uses radio communications," I would guess that they are talking about inter-chip communication. Stacking all of the chips together like that would be difficult to make a circuit board for. But if the chips could talk to each other wirelessly, then this would cut down space and wires, making the total device cheaper to manufacture.

    This is probably the most innovative part of the new technology