Even though most portable devices today rely on Flash media for storage, experts agree that we are nearing a time when Flash will need to get the bump. Before getting too excited about this, keep in mind that we are ways off before this will even be an issue.
Sure, there are those hard drive based devices out there, but what about technology that is truly small enough that it can honestly be a viable substitute for Flash media. Given enough time, I think we will see it happen sooner rather than later.
The time has come that we can no longer do without Flash memory in our day-to-day IT work. There are few segments in which the now 16 year-old technology has not caught on – whenever compact, fast and non-volatile storage solutions are needed, we fall back on Flash. This applies most of all to digital cameras and cell phones; portable USB sticks are also rapidly gaining in popularity. The capacities of memory cards have increased dramatically, passing the GigaByte mark long ago. Current compact Flash cards with sizes up to 8 GB can be had for less than $1000.
The major manufacturers – Samsung, Toshiba, Spansion (AMD/Fujitsu), Intel and ST Microlelectronics – enjoy steady business with healthy revenue growth from quarter to quarter. Despite Flash technology’s ripe old age, the industry remains in a market that is still developing, with production and sales volumes that cannot really be predicted.