Flash memory has already made major inroads in data centers and on Macs and PCs – augmenting hard disks by prefetching and caching data. Flash memory is not perfect but it is getting better as error correction systems have improved and prices have decreased over time. Hard disks too have improved but are hampered by physics – remember, we are talking spinning patters here.
IBM has decided that flash is the future and put its money where its mouth is by announcing a $1B investment in the technology.
Erin Harrison has the details on the scoop as well as the reason why Sprint is one of the company’s big customers. This is really big news for all of technology as flash is already embedded in servers, PCs, smartphones and tablets. If this investment can improve the technology by making it cheaper and faster, virtually all electronic products could see a bump in performance as a result.
And yes, hard disks will still have a role in a world where massive amounts of storage will need to be on tap at all times. The issue is that as flash gets better, it will be used more often and really impact hard drive sales.