Behind the Scenes: Flash Memory Summit

-September 24, 2012

David Woolf

It was great to be able to attend the Flash Memory Summit last month Santa Clara, California. The program offered a wide variety of presentations – from the standards architects working on defining standards that use flash memory in applications like SSDs, to companies marketing USB sticks at major retail chains.

One of the key takeaways from the summit was the potential for growth in Flash Memory Gigabytes sold over the next few years (forecasting 150+ billion Gigabytes sold in 2016, up from ~30 billion gigabytes in 2012). There are two reasons for this potential growth. The first is price, as demonstrated by a considerable decrease in cost for SSDs, as the industry has blasted through the $1/GB threshold. The second reason for growth is because of the expansion in the types of products using flash memory. The largest areas for growth in flash memory will be in mobile devices and SSDs.

I primarily attended the summit to discuss testing of Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) based SSDs, the UNH-IOL’s NVMe test program and the potential for an NVMe Interop Workshop in 2013. This workshop would be an industry first.

SSD’s on the PCIe bus are not that new, but the standardization of them through NVMe is. By standardizing this interface, NVMe reduces the need for proprietary drivers; in fact reference drivers already exist for both Linux and Windows.

You can get more information at the UNH-IOL’s NVMe test program. We're looking forward to the new doors that the profusion of flash memory will open up!

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