Retronix Blog

Jun 6, 2018

The importance of Memory Devices.

There is a lot of excitement in the electronics sector currently about the huge strides forward being made with new innovations such as driverless cars, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, smart homes, voice control etc. But none of this works without the progression of memory silicon and the ability to transfer that data quickly and reliably, this is the key that drives it all.

It’s all very well having an increase of devices connected in your home and work-place through IoT, but this generates a massive increase in data and this wouldn’t be much use without the ability to store and transfer that data.

Transfer and communication

5G promises to be the biggest step forward in mobile technology yet, this will offer faster speeds than 4G along with other benefits. The current top end 4G networks can deliver peak download speeds of 300Mbits/s, 5G promises to offer speeds in excess of 1Gb/s with many suppliers already promising that this will be closer to 10Gb/s. 5G will also increase the bandwidth in the current mobile network by opening up a new and less congested frequency spectrum. As the IoT becomes more common place with an increase in connected devices in our homes and cities the move to 5G will play a crucial part in this development. As it will with automated cars, without a reliable way for these cars to communicate with each other and be aware of their surroundings, the automated car idea would still be something from a Sci Fi film.


Storage is key – memory devices continue to be the driving force behind innovations and overall market growth.

The Bryant model 2 disc file device in 1959: To current memory devices :


Memory Devices

The search for reliable memory devices has been underway for many years and progression is still being made in line with Moores law (every two years chips will increase in speed by a factor of two and halve in cost)

In 1973 Intel memory chips marked the end of magnetic core memory and ushered in the era of DRAM (dynamic random access memory) with the creation of a 1KB chip. And this idea was pushed further forward with the Japanese trade ministry funding Fujitsu, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, NEC and Toshiba and they combined to produce 256K DRAM chips.

By the mid 80s Toshiba advanced memory storage with the invention of flash memory devices with the ability to be erased and reprogrammed multiple times meant that this became the “go to” memory device for the computer industry.

Then in 1992 San Disk entered the market with the first SSD (solid state disc) San Disk recognised the move towards handheld devices and smaller computers and replaced the spinning discs of a hard drive with non-volatile memory chips. This then lead to them also creating compact flash during the mid 90s which became the standard for cameras and phones. By the end of the 90s San Disk continues its domination by introducing USB sticks to the market and this lead to the fade in popularity for disc and floppy drives in computers in favour of USB ports.

In 2006 Amazon introduced the first cloud storage option to their customers. This eliminated the need for companies to maintain a complex computing structure on site for storage.

The progression and demand for storage continues at a pace and that is highlighted by the fact that last August the monthly sales of memory was $35 Billion, this was up 24% on monthly sales and was the 13th consecutive monthly increase.

For all the latest IoT devices to be a success and grow as predicted we must rely on the memory market and the  communication/connectivity market, but without the memory market, none of this progression would be possible.

Retronix are seeing an upturn in requests to recover memory devices from PCBs, this is down to the high costs of these devices along with the long lead times. We can offer this service to include:

  • Safe Removal from PCB (Click Here)
  • Retinning of legs (Click Here) or reballing for BGA’s using a safe laser process (Click Here) that avoids reflow temperatures.
  • Re alignment of legs (Click Here)
  • Component Test – curve trace, flash memory, key function tests (Click here)
  • Re packaging in trays, tubes or reels.



We are also seeing an increase of memory devices that we are testing, this is again due to the current component supply issues and companies being forced to use suppliers that they may not normally buy from. The parts then come to Retronix for testing to assure the end customer that these parts are correct and fully functioning as required.

We are happy to carry out free of charge samples to assist you to prove the process and the benefits to your company.

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Original Article published on LinkedIn by Rob Ronan (UK Sales & Support Manager)

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