Flash memory survives 100 Million Cycles.
Flash memory is currently used in solid-state drives, USB drives, or increasingly in server farms, but it starts to wear out after about 10,000 cycles of being programmed and erased.
Now a team of engineers from Macronix is planning to unveil a technology which has been shown to be able to withstand “at least” 100 Million cycles. They say at least because it will take several months to run it up to 1 billion cycles, and even then it may just keep going, with one researcher saying “We do not know what would eventually cause the device to fail, since we have not seen the end-of-life signals yet”.
The technique involves storing bits of data in a material called chalcogenide glass, which is currently used in PCRAM. That glass normally wears out over time, but by including tiny onboard heaters to bring the glass up to melting point, it was able to self-heal and be used indefinitely. The amount of power required for heating wasn’t disclosed but the team says “It’s not going to drain your cellphone battery”. The technique also allows for faster erasing of data.