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May 2013 Vol. 12 No. 3

MRAM technology likely choice as post-flash solid-state storage

NAND flash-based storage could be replaced by newer forms of non-volatile memory like MRAM technology. Find out why MRAM's density, cost and form factor could make flash obsolete. Flash storage is everywhere these days. It's hard to have a discussion about IT infrastructure without someone talking about how flash storage can be leveraged to make server and storage architectures faster. It's not necessarily cheaper, although a large increase in workload hosting density can provide cost justification. But it will certainly deliver higher performance at key points in the I/O stack in terms of outright latency; and with clever approaches to auto-tiering, write journaling and caching, higher throughputs are within easy reach. But flash as a non-volatile random-access memory (nvRAM) technology has its problems. For one, it wears out. The most common type of flash is based on NAND transistors like static RAM (SRAM), but has an internal "insulation" layer that can hold an electric charge without external power. This is what makes it ...

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