Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

A View from Brad King

NAND Flash Memory Production May Impede Developers

Flash memory, in particular for mobile devices, is in high demand. Rapid production may outstrip chip compatibility.

  • July 14, 2006

Malcolm Gladwell wrote about the tipping point, which Wikipedia defines roughly as the place in time when the cutting edge reaches the mainstream in sufficient numbers to become commonplace.

Flash memory, long the preference for the digi-centric lifestyle, has now reached sufficient enough popularity that it’s common for even computer novices to inquire about it at the local Best Buy or Circuit City. (In truth, I realized this when I went computer shopping with my sister this week and mentioned flash memory to my father. They both acted as if I’d tried to explain why it’s important to breathe.)

With flash memory on my mind, these two stories caught my attention when they hit the wires today: this one about a new $3 billion flash memory production plant being built by SanDisk and Toshiba and this one about developers concerned that over-production of NAND flash memory (which some believe is more prone to bugs) could outdistance its reliability with current chipsets.

With mobile computing skyrocketing among the masses, providers of all sorts are trying to push the limits of these small devices. That means increasing the memory and computing power in quick fashion. Early adopters, by definition, will put up with buggy interfaces and less-than-stellar performance because new products are oftentimes powerful enough that with a little knowledge, the high-end user can circumvent technical issues.

We’re quickly leaving that time, though, and mobile companies – particularly the hardware makers – need to be careful that they don’t rush to keep up with consumer buying demands while delivering the same type of buggy (and now, far more complicated) interfaces and performance.

The latest Insider Conversation is live! Listen to the story behind the story.

Subscribe today
Already a Premium subscriber? Log in.

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Plus.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus the digital magazine, extensive archive, ad-free web experience, and discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

    Bimonthly print magazine (6 issues per year)

    Bimonthly digital/PDF edition

    Access to the magazine PDF archive—thousands of articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips

    Special interest publications

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Special discounts to select partner offerings

    Ad-free web experience

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.