Apparently catering to the few folks out there that feel they have too few USB flash drives, Ultra Products recently let loose this so-called SpaceStation 6, which comes with no less than six tiny thumb drives that can be neatly concealed and used as the mood strikes. Of course, there’s no hub action going on here — which would be convenient — and the slots likely won’t play nice with your current stash of flash drives. If you’re still interested, however, you can grab either a 12GB version (consisting of six 2GB drives) or a 6GB version (with six 1GB drives) right now for $90 or $60, respectively.
[Via Coolest Gadgets]
It looks like the multitude of problems stemming from the recent slicing and dicing of five undersea cables could soon be eased significantly, with Reuters now reporting that three of the cables should be repaired by this weekend. Those include the FLAG Europe-Asia cable between Egypt and Italy and the FALCON cable system between Dubai and Oman, which are each expected to be fixed by February 10th, and SEA-ME-WE 4 cable near Egypt, which should be fixed by Saturday at the latest. What’s more, while the causes for most of those cuts and outages remain a mystery, the culprit behind the cut to the FALCON cable between the UAE and Oman has now apparently been determined to be a ship’s anchor, which was reportedly found abandoned near the cable. That’ll likely do little to put most folks at completely at ease, however, and we’re guessing they won’t be until everything is back up and running, and stays that way.
Read - Reuters, “Three undersea cables seen fixed by weekend”
Read - Physorg, “One Internet cut explained, but four others still a mystery”
[Image courtesy of I Love Bonnie]
Intel and Nanochip team up to develop 100 gigabytes per chip
This article was syndicated from Tiago Marques’ blog at SiliconMadness.com
Nanochip, Inc., a Silicon Valley startup, has managed to raise $14 million in funding from Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment organization, for further development of the MEMS technology.
You read it right: gigabytes, not gigabits.
According to Nanochip (PDF), the technology isn’t lithography constrained, allowing production of chips of more than 1GB in capacity, in plants that have already been deemed outdated by current standards.
The lack of lithography constraints means cheaper products, resulting in an opportunity to also replace flash memory, as the technology is also non-volatile.
Today’s factories should be able to produce the first products, estimated at 100GB per chip, when the technology is expected to be unleashed for public consumption by 2010. The first samples will be available during 2009.
PRAM, or phase change memory, was expected to be the technology to replace flash in the coming years, since it is also non-volatile, while it is much faster than flash. As Intel found out over the last few years, PRAM doesn’t seemed to scale so well, in regards to density, and still has some boundaries to overcome — namely it’s thermal principles of operation.
Nanochip’s details of the technology are ambiguous at best, though what is known is that the company is working on hybrid micro-electric-mechanical — the partnership with Intel suggests a PRAM connection too. The company has described this as a very small platter coated in chalcogenide is dragged beneath hundreds of thousands of electrical probes which can read and write the chalcogenide. Casual estimates put this sort of density at one terabit per square inch, or 125GB per square inch.
The company has not disclosed access speeds. That’s a place where PRAM is appointed to be the undisputed king of the hill, so it could limit applications of this type of technology.
For now it seems that the flash SSD drives are going to be replaced before they even reach mass consumption — which is a good thing. The technology is expensive, doesn’t provide a lot of storage space and is prone to failure, due to the low amount of write cycles available per cell. Flash is perfect for pendrives and resisting shock, not so good for regular, intensive, HDD usage.