A team of Japanese researchers have created ferroelectric flash memory cells that can be rewritten more than 100 million times. That's a pretty significant breakthrough considering conventional flash cells only have a lifetime of around 10,000.
Current Flash chips are estimated to have a useful lifetime of around a decade for most applications.
However, some applications that require repeated writing and rewriting of data can theoretically cause cells to wear out much faster, sometimes rendering a Flash device useless within a few years.
This can happen when a large area of Flash memory is used as a swap file or virtual memory, or to store constantly updated log files.
The continuing miniaturisation of conventional Flash memory chips also threatens to reduce their lifetime.
This and other factors make conventional high-density Flash cells unworkable at circuit sizes below 20 nanometres, the scientists claim.
The new ferroelectric Nand Flash memory cell developed by the Japanese scientists can be scaled down to at least 10 nanometres. The next generation of conventional flash cells will use a 30 nanometre circuit density.