References to supermodel Kate Moss aside, the recent Wired Magazine article by Christina Bonnington titled “Future of computing looks thinner” has a distinctly EDA360 tone to it. NAND Flash memory tends to have a slimming effect on the products it inhabits as it drives out electromechanical hard and optical disks. The floppy disk was driven out long ago, which helped to start the weight-loss process. Bonnington writes “as storage migrates toward online servers, and media is more likely to be streamed rather than viewed from a DVD or Blu-ray disc, many of those onboard features are shrinking down, or getting nixed altogether.”
“Consumers are favoring size and portability over a heftier ‘do-it-all’ type machine.”
Although NAND Flash memory appears in smartphones and tablets as storage tied directly to the main SoC, in PCs it appears as a direct disk replacement—usually connected to the motherboard chipset via a SATA connection. This sort of disk emulation is inherently inefficient and forces the installed Flash to emulate the bit bottleneck of a hard disk or optical disk read/write head. But NAND Flash memory can be as parallel as you want it to be.
So the drive to “thin” will eventually create a drive to performance as PC chipsets specifically designed for a Flash-only storage environment increasingly take on the management of that Flash memory to eke out maximum performance. It’s all there in the EDA360 concept of System Realization.