A friend of mine just told me about an article he read on Slashdot (of course) about flash memory chips that can hold data for potentially hundreds of years. These new chips, developed by Japanese scientists from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and the University of Tokyo, use lower voltage (less than 6V) and ferroelectric Nand Flash memory cell technology which can be scaled down to 10 nm. According to the researchers, these ferroelectric Nand Flash memory cells can be rewritten more than 100 million times, compared with the 10,000 of conventional cells. They also use what is called a ‘wear leveling’ process to equally distribute the work between cells and to retire worn out cells while allowing the entire unit to keep functioning.
Here’s the link to the actual research at AIST:
Novel Ferroelectric NAND Flash Memory Cell Demonstrates 10000 Times More Program and Erase cycles than Conventional Memory Cells
I have no idea what this ferroelectric business is, but I’ll be keeping my eye on it to see if it delivers what they say it does.