The Flash Memory Summit, August 7-9, came just two weeks after MemCon. Given that at least half of the conversations at MemCon were about flash memory, I wondered if anyone would bother to attend a second conference on flash. Well, there were plenty of attendees and exhibitors. My completely unscientific estimate is that the Flash Memory Summit was bigger in all respects than MemCon.
Eli Harari, founder of SanDisk gave the first keynote address on Wednesday morning. SanDisk is betting its future on NAND flash and Eli had numbers to back up his enthusiasm for the technology. Since NAND became chimericaly available in the 1990s, its price per megabyte has declined by a factor of 5,000. By 2012, the cost should be about one-tenth that of DRAM. However, NAND scaling is beginning to outstrip progress in lithography and may reach its limit at the 20 nanometer process node. That point we will be getting 256Gb per chip which may be enough to hold us over for a few days anyway. (more…)