Mass Data Storage Technology Roadmap

Mass Data Storage - 2015 iNEMI Roadmap

iNEMI, Date of Publication: Apr 7, 2015

Mass Data Storage Technology Roadmap

The Mass Data Storage 2015 iNEMI Roadmap is the most comprehensive roadmap published to date by the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI). The complete roadmap report is available hereThe 2015 Roadmap was developed by five Product Emulator Groups (PEGs) and 19 Technology Working Groups (TWGs). The TWGs responded to the inputs and requirements outlined by representatives of OEMs in the five Product Emulator Groups (PEGs). These groups included more than 500 direct participants from over 280 private corporations, consortia, government agencies, and universities in 20 countries.

The roadmap identifies major trends in the evolution of Mass Data Storage, with an emphasis on identifying potentially disruptive events (business and technology). It provides the information needed to identify critical technology and infrastructure gaps, prioritize R&D needs to meet those gaps, and initiate activities that address industry needs.

Through its roadmaps, iNEMI charts future opportunities and challenges for the electronics manufacturing industry. These widely utilized roadmaps:

  • Help OEMs, EMS providers and suppliers prioritize investments in R&D
     and technology deployment

  • Influence the focus of university-based research

  • Provide guidance for government investment in emerging technologies

Mass data storage technology for digital electronic systems continues to grow in importance and impact. From its origins primarily in high-end computing and business systems in the 1940’s and 50’s, it has broadened to encompass a wide range of technologies and applications.  Current technologies include solid state non-volatile flash memory based on NAND semiconductor cells, ferroelectric, magneto-resistive random access memory, magnetic recording on rigid disks and tape, and a number of different optical storage technologies.  The list of potential emerging additional mass data storage technologies which may enter the mainstream continues to increase, including solid state phase change (‘Ovonic’) memory, hybrid flash/disk drive, spin-torque MRAM or other magnetic spin base memories and optical holographic based storage.

NAND Flash memory technology has grown in commercial importance, displacing the smallest diameter (<1.8”) hard disk drives (HDD). However, due to higher cost of manufacturing but lower storage capacity, it has become complementary to hard disk drive technology and therefore will not replace it.   It is anticipated Flash memory may continue to play a larger role in both low and high end computing systems, as price decline and capacity and reliability improvements are realized. The price decline may be faster than that expected from ‘Moore’s Law’, enabled by capacity improvements from multi-bit cells, although scaling limits due to small cell size and fundamental signal to noise limits may eventually limit the technology’s advance.

Magneto-resistive based MRAM technology based non-volatile memory products are now established in the marketplace, although at fairly low capacity and high prices. The long term success of this technology may be critically dependent upon a successful transition to more areal efficient and less costly spin torque or thermal switched cells, which could enable higher capacities and a wider application spectrum. Other storage technologies, such as phase change memory have yet to gain large market share.

The complete report provides a full coverage of emerging and disruptive technologies across the electronics industry:  Order 2015 iNEMI Roadmap today.




Date of Publication:
Apr 7, 2015
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