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Thread: Ridicolous Memory Card Storage Space!

  1. #1 Ridicolous Memory Card Storage Space! 
    Forum Freshman IAlexN's Avatar
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    I just read an article about the new CompactFlash 5.0, which as I recall will give memory cards 144 Petabytes of memory, which to me is mind boggling. However, If this is true, is it then possible to construct hard drives with this type of huge storage space in a near future? And how much do you think these memory cards will cost?

    A similar article can be read here: http://www.pcworld.com/article/19009...f_storage.html

    NOTE to Moderator: I think this ought be moved to Electrical and Electronics.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Professor leohopkins's Avatar
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    144 petabytes is a lot.

    I would not suspect that this amount would be useful for the common consumer.....

    ....I dread to think how long it would take to complete a defrag !


    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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    Forum Professor Wild Cobra's Avatar
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    Well, I have 8 years of experience with CMP, knowing full well why it's used and what device feature limitations are. Keep in mind, this is the memory maximum capacity under the new standard. Without some miraculous breakthrough, we will not see small memory cards that big.

    Imagine the capacity to put 1 memory bit in the space of 0.1 by 0.1 microns. A square chip to handle 144 peta-bytes would be 89 meters by 89 meters.

    I have been out of the semiconductor industry since 2002, but I do know that device features have not radically decreased in size since the CMP boom I was in. Designers hit wall after wall in attempting to make semiconductors smaller, and still be functional gates. Even if we could push to gates to a 1 nano-meter size, such a memory device would be very large, and take several wafers to complete.

    Oh... The interconnects need to be even smaller... Current technology uses ultraviolet light is focused on the wafers. This activates a photo resist for chemicals to etch. I wonder what technology is being developed to get even smaller than the walls they have hit. Even if X-Ray or gamma rays could be so finely controlled, you still have the problems of coming up with a replacement to chemical etching of features that would become too small for photo resist and etching chemicals to interact properly.
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    Forum Professor leohopkins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra
    Well, I have 8 years of experience with CMP, knowing full well why it's used and what device feature limitations are. Keep in mind, this is the memory maximum capacity under the new standard. Without some miraculous breakthrough, we will not see small memory cards that big.

    Imagine the capacity to put 1 memory bit in the space of 0.1 by 0.1 microns. A square chip to handle 144 peta-bytes would be 89 meters by 89 meters.

    I have been out of the semiconductor industry since 2002, but I do know that device features have not radically decreased in size since the CMP boom I was in. Designers hit wall after wall in attempting to make semiconductors smaller, and still be functional gates. Even if we could push to gates to a 1 nano-meter size, such a memory device would be very large, and take several wafers to complete.

    Oh... The interconnects need to be even smaller... Current technology uses ultraviolet light is focused on the wafers. This activates a photo resist for chemicals to etch. I wonder what technology is being developed to get even smaller than the walls they have hit. Even if X-Ray or gamma rays could be so finely controlled, you still have the problems of coming up with a replacement to chemical etching of features that would become too small for photo resist and etching chemicals to interact properly.
    Hi Sure, 89 meters by 89 meters. Having said that though; this could be folded. Rather like the lungs, if stretched out would cover the size of a tennis court.

    So, whilst this would not at present be practicable on a CF card, I see no reason why it could not be implemented on a 3.5" disk drive.

    The OP asked for the cost? Assuming a 3.5" 144 petabyte drive just came out I would put the cost at being (using US currency now) at around $12,000.
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor Wild Cobra's Avatar
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    I redid the math. At 100 nanometer spacing per gate, it's more like 12,970 square meters. Anyway, hard to place in a drive. In 3 dimensions, crystal storage at 100 nm spacing, it would take 1,297 cubic centimeters. Now if we could get to 10 nm spacing of gates, it could be done on 129.7 sq meters, or 1.297 cc. Problem is, making storage that small. Semiconductors start losing such electrical properties when the number of molecules get so small per gate. At for some 3d optical storage, if we could use a 10 nm wave for 10 nm of storage, that is in the x-ray band. Mighty fine trick to control them at the refined level.
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    Forum Professor Wild Cobra's Avatar
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    To put this in perspective...

    Intel's newest processors use a feature size minimum of 45 nanometers. This is the smallest interconnect width. Allow for spacing, materials, etc, they probably have the gate sizes down to the 300 nm range.

    Typical cross section of a chip constriction:



    Here is an actual cross section, I believe by an electron microscope:

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