I’ve been a SanDisk user for more than 10 years. Flash memory forms part of my daily working life as CompactFlash, SD, CFast and microSD memory cards, not to mention USB sticks and SSDs. I also consider myself a bit of a tech geek, always up with the attest trends in technology. And yet when I started pulling together ideas for the Day in Flash project, even I was surprised at just how much flash memory there is in the world and how important it is.
Go back 10 years and you’d struggle to find a car with flash memory inside. Today you’d struggle to find a new car that DOESN’T have flash memory in it!
The Rise of the Internet of Things
It’s been brought about by the rise of the Internet of Things, or IoT. Everything electronic is becoming smarter. And connected. In the near future most anything electronic you touch will be able to connect to something else wirelessly. It’ll be capturing data, tracking movement, analyzing use and so on. This will enable a truly connected lifestyle – where your fridge will know what’s in it, communicate with your phone and when you walk into the supermarket it’ll provide a shopping list and directions to each item you need in the aisle, complete with any applicable offers you may be interested in.
While a lot of that data will be stored in the Cloud the so-called ‘Edge Devices’, those that live at the edge of the cloud, connecting internal LAN with external WAN or internet, will be storing 80% of the data. This is because the Edge devices are where the magic happens. These are the things you an interact with, that do the measuring and need the information.
It’s not just the obvious things though – showers with preset temperatures and jet patterns for each family member, lighting that responds to ambient light levels, weighing scales that track your weight and health. And that’s just in the home. Out in the wider world, industry is rapidly connecting devices and collecting data to try and function more efficiently.
To put some numbers to this, self driving cars generate around 1GB of data per second from their sensors, while mining operations collect 2.4TB per minute and a smart manufacturing factory as much as 1PB per day.
We truly are living in the age of data and flash memory is driving this forward. Whether the data is stored in the cloud or locally, it’s all being stored on flash and as the data requirements rise, so we’ll find we really do live our days in flash.