Flash Memory Development and Pricing as It Pertaains to the Touch iPod

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
I'm sure we're all glad that the Touch iPod finally arrived although many of us are very disappointed about the limited flash drive memory available.



There seem to be many knowledgeable people on AppleInsider who are aware of what's happening in the computer field. I'd like to pose a question. In what stage of development is flash memory in sizes larger than 16GB in now? I'm assuming 32GB would be the next step up. At what point would you hazard a guess based on your knowledge that larger chips at a price point to be used in the Touch iPod might arrive?



Thanks for any insight you might have.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,229moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OldCodger73 View Post


    I'd like to pose a question. In what stage of development is flash memory in sizes larger than 16GB in now? I'm assuming 32GB would be the next step up. At what point would you hazard a guess based on your knowledge that larger chips at a price point to be used in the Touch iPod might arrive?



    You can already buy flash based IDE drives (64GB+) but the price is still way too high:



    http://www.dvnation.com/nand-flash-ssd.html



    I think the more that consumer products get flash media, the more the price should drop and products like the ipod are a great place to start as flash has added benefits on mobile devices.
  • Reply 2 of 4
    Marvin, thanks for the link. With those prices it looks like we have quite a wait until 32GB flash drives become afordable enough to go into the iPod Touch and iPhone.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,229moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OldCodger73 View Post


    Marvin, thanks for the link. With those prices it looks like we have quite a wait until 32GB flash drives become afordable enough to go into the iPod Touch and iPhone.



    I don't know, the ipods are a bit different because they are a mass market product. The prices on that site will be relative to the low volume sales so the prices are higher than they would be for an ipod. I wouldn't be surprised to see 32GB flash drives next year and I could see it doubling every successive year. It'll probably be a while before they are adequate replacements for hard drives though because if flash gets to 64GB in two years, maybe 2.5" hard drives will have reached 1 terrabyte+ and not only that will still be significantly cheaper than flash.
  • Reply 4 of 4
    thttht Posts: 3,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OldCodger73 View Post


    I'm sure we're all glad that the Touch iPod finally arrived although many of us are very disappointed about the limited flash drive memory available.



    There seem to be many knowledgeable people on AppleInsider who are aware of what's happening in the computer field. I'd like to pose a question. In what stage of development is flash memory in sizes larger than 16GB in now? I'm assuming 32GB would be the next step up. At what point would you hazard a guess based on your knowledge that larger chips at a price point to be used in the Touch iPod might arrive?



    Flash memory densities double every 18-24 months, just like microprocessors. Current 16 GByte flash devices are currently in pilot production and will enter mass production this quarter (Oct to Dec 2007). Mass production will be on the order of million per month per fab. Next doubling in density will occur 18-24 months from now. So Summer of 2009 for 32 GByte flash devices.



    The current iPod touch has 2 flash devices inside. So at the largest, they are 8 GByte devices. The devices actually, or probably, have sixteen 4 Gbit (512 MByte) flash chips inside, or eight 8 Gbit devices.



    So, if Apple wants to maintain the current iPod touch price points and thinness of 8 mm, they can upgrade to a 32 GByte version in 1H 2008 and a 64 GByte version in 2H 2009.



    Of course that's if they choose to (which they are very apt to do). They could have easily shipped an iPod touch with 32 GB of flash by having a design with 4 flash devices. This would have required a thicker form factor, larger battery making it heavier, and higher cost. It would have made a nice machine: 32 GB flash, probably 10-11 mm thick compared to the current 8 mm, and obviously, at least $499 in cost.



    They could have done the same thing with the iPhone. I'd purchase an iPhone with at least 16 GB flash (and HSDPA), but Apple's sales and market numbers probably indicate that 4 to 8 GB is the storage required for the bulk of their customers. The lower volume products are probably left to a later update.
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