The future contains ever shrinking microprocessors, memory modules and devices. This technology drives our productivity to greater heights, while allowing the professional a greater sense of mobility and interconnectivity. In this article we will discuss some of the most promising technologies coming to a mobile device in the near future. From ultra small, ultra stable flash memory for USB drives to ultra powerful smart phones and mobile computers.
A New Era of Processors
Intel recently announced in its 2010 Intel Developer Forum that it will be releasing in the second half of 2011 a new line of processors codenamed Sandy Bridge to replace the current Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 lines and may even show up in some mobile devices, competing with more prominent manufacturers in mobile technology like ARM. In statements from Intel, the new processor will house a ring architecture that allows a built in processor graphics engine to share resources such as cache therefore increasing a devices computing and graphics performance while maintaining energy efficiency.
One goal of this new family of processing is to enhance current usage of computers in the most common applications like HD video, 3D gaming, multitasking and online multimedia and social groups. As notebooks become ever more popular and threaten to eclipse the desktop, these new developments will help to keep users in the mainstream of technology.
But Intel is not the only manufacturer with big designs for the microprocessor. ARM has announced its next-generation processor, the Cortex A15, a 2.5 GHz quad-core designed for mobile computing only days after Samsung announced a dual-core Cortex A9. The Cortex A15 contains architecture that is similar to that used in the dominant amount of smart phones and mobile devices popular today. Due to these likenesses, the integration into the current market will be seamless, easily utilizing such programs as Adobe Flash Player, various Java platforms, MS Windows Embedded, Symbian, Linux and an ARM Connected Community of 700 software and hardware developers and designers.
The technologies in the new ARM processor will enable hardware virtualization, the ability to address up to 1Tb of memory and error correction developments designed for improved fault tolerance, all the while maintaining low power consumption.
We can look forward to seeing both of these technologies empower the mobile device user into realms not thought possible with current technology. With applications in Smartphones, Mobile Computing, Digital Home Entertainment Equipment, Wireless Infrastructure and even some server technology we will no doubt encounter the effects of this new era of processors
Flash Memory at Its Smallest
In recent news reports, Hynix, Samsung and Toshiba have all announced production of “20-nm class” NAND chips, with Toshiba reaching as small as 24-nanometer. This new process will allow more chips stacked together for higher capacity NAND flash memory modules. The technology is being applied to 2-bit-per-cell 8GB chips which are purported to be the smallest and highest density memory parts in the world. In the future we can look forward to this process being applied to 3-bit-per-cell 4GB products.
The Toshiba chips use DDR technology for faster data transfer, and have applications in devices such as smartphones, media players, and tablets to name a few. Previously available in the market have been the 8GB NAND chips using 32-nm technology.
This could mean good things for the consumer. Firstly, this is liable to incite a price war bringing the cost of this new technology lower than would be expected with only a single manufacturer creating them. Also, as large corporations manufacture their newest devices to meet market demand, costs for lower capacity NAND flash like USB drives, which are still in very high demand, could go down. Look for price reductions later this year.
So what does all of this mean for the business professional on the go? Why, more go of course. I look forward to testing and even purchasing some of this technology, improving my careers, both professional and academic.