Saturday, September 10, 2005

Barron's Online - Memory Games

Barron's Online - Memory Games "The nano iPod has a memory capacity of 4 gigabytes (that is, 4 billion chunks of data), at the same $249 price point as its disk-drive predecessor. That essentially raises the bar for drive makers, because solid-state flash chips are necessarily smaller, lighter and less power-hungry than the mechanical hard drives. Flash is generally more sturdy, too.
None of flash's virtues would matter if its cost-per-gigabyte weren't falling fast. Flash prices have fallen more than 4% a month for 10 years, closing the gap on hard disk drives.
The hard drives that hold hundreds of gigabytes on a computer or personal video recorder now cost under a buck per gigabyte. The 1-inch micro hard drives sold for portable gadgets cost something under $14-per-gigabyte, according to Alan Niebel of the Monterey, Calif.-based market research firm Web-Feet Research. Niebel had estimated the recent current cost of NAND flash at something under $64-per-gigabyte....but the $249 list price of Apple's new 4-gigabyte iPod has the whole industry sucking in its breath."

Includes chart showing disk and flash price per gig over time.

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