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Data Storage Hardware

Hynix 48-GB Flash MCP 129

Posted by kdawson
from the lotta-songs-in-yer-phone dept.
Hal_Porter writes to let us know that the third-largest NAND chip maker, Hynix, has announced they have stacked 24 flash chips in a 1.4mm thick multi-chip package. It's not entirely clear from the article whether the resulting 48-GB device is a proof of concept or a product. The article extrapolates to 384 GB of storage in a single package, sometime. Hal_Porter adds: "It's not clear if it's possible to write to them in parallel — if so the device should be pretty damn fast. The usual objection to NAND flash as a hard drive replacement is lifetime. NAND sectors can only be written 100,000 times or so before they wear out, but wear leveling can be done to spread writes evenly over at least each chip. I worked out that the lifetime should be much longer than a typical magnetic hard disk. There's no information on costs yet frankly and it sounds like an expensive proof of concept, but it shows you the sort of device that will take over from small hard disks in the next few years."
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Hynix 48-GB Flash MCP

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  • Database servers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gnuman99 (746007) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @11:51AM (#20495335)
    Random seek is probably one of the biggest bottlenecks in large databases. There are even databases that optimize reads/writes to be more consecutive on the disk. A drive like that would throw that problem out of the window.
    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by pilgrim23 (716938)
      "...that the lifetime should be much longer than a typical magnetic hard disk." ... I am curious about how that lifetime is determined. As a retro-computist hardwre buff I tinker with old hardware all the time. One example (of many): I have a Apple /// with 5mb (yeah 5mb) ProFILE drive. I think this beast was made in 1981 and it still runs just fine. I have a few slightly older hard drives too. I am not sure how an average lifetime is determined but I actually play with hardware that is over a quarte
      • by CastrTroy (595695) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @12:21PM (#20495723) Homepage
        You'd have to look at how much actual reading or writing to the drive is done by a computer from that era. Currently, hard drive space is really cheap, so we write lots of stuff to the disk, like temp files, log files, swap out programs, and even with some filesystems and operating systems write to the drive every time a file is accessed. A computer from that era wouldn't be writing so much stuff too the hard drive, as hard drives were small and expensive. It would likely only write to the drive when you need a program to save actual human created data, or when you install a new program. Reading would only be done when you start up the computer, a new program, or load a file.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Surt (22457)
        http://download.micron.com/pdf/datasheets/flash/na nd/4gb_nand_m40a.pdf [micron.com]
        promises data retention of 10 years. I would guess that it will function longer than that, but only if you refresh the data.
      • *sigh* [slashdot.org]
    • by Klinky (636952)
      But you then have the problem with many databases being much larger than the 48GB listed or even the 384GB. Even if you could buy it today it's probably not very cost effective. Adding more ram or working on better caching solutions may prove to be more valuable. Also it's good to note that while flash meory does have faster seeks they are around 500ns - 1ms. That's quicker than a HDD sure, but it's still exponentially slower than DRAM. see However, this will probably be the wave of the future once we start
      • by Atzanteol (99067)

        But you then have the problem with many databases being much larger than the 48GB listed or even the 384GB.

        Let me introduce you to our friend RAID [wikipedia.org].

        • by Klinky (636952)
          Well yes, but then you have the problem of how much these things cost. They are still a bit out of the range of cost effectiveness.
          • by Atzanteol (99067)
            Ah, right. I think I misunderstood your point a bit, or jumped to an incorrect conclusion...
    • Well, I'm rooting for this solution for an index tablespace (or .MYI on a MyISAM database), and a regular raid for the actual data. I think that combo would fly, as the tree operations on the index thrives on low latency - and the consecutive reads/writes of table data thrives on regular disk devices as they tend to have a good throughput.
  • 48 GB = 384Gb (Score:5, Informative)

    by sirket (60694) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @11:54AM (#20495381)
    The article does not extrapolate to 384 GB of storage- they extrapolate to 384 Gb of storage which is 48 GB of storage. bits != bytes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sirket (60694)
      JHust to clarify- the company mentions possibly going to 28 stacked chips which would be 448 gigabits (not gigabytes) of storage- or about 56 GB of space. Now as flash chips grow in size- this could double (assuming 32 Gb NAND chips which are becoming available) to 96 or 112 GB of storage or more (assuming larger chips).
      • Re:48 GB = 384Gb (Score:4, Insightful)

        by timeOday (582209) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @12:45PM (#20496079)
        But these appear to be be tiny (for mobile applications).... you could fit an enormous number of them into a 3.5" (or even 2.5") hard drive enclosure, if you can afford it. Put in a controller that can read and write to, say, 16 chips in parallel, and you would have a monster hard drive in every respect.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by GenP (686381)
          I for one welcome our able-to-max-out-SATA NAND flash overlords.
    • 384,000,000,000bits / 8bits in a byte = 48GB / 24 flash devices = 2GB per device. Seems like they could almost do better. I'll give it some time. (Impatient for SSHD)
    • by HiThere (15173)
      But what they *ought* to do is figure out how to stack 33 or 35 planes (1 word + parity). I suppose that they could do fancier error correction...but this is a ram chip, not a computer.

      Anyway, then if they could read/write all planes in parallel you'd not only have fast access, but also simple addressing. (I.e., you could reasonably do I/O to a single column...admittedly slower than block transfer, but nicer if you only need to change one word.) This would be more important if memory usage cycles were mor
    • by steelfood (895457)
      I don't know which K you're using, but in my world, there are 1000 bits per Kb, 8 bits per byte, and 1024 bytes per KB.

      Which means 384 billion bits is 48 billion bytes, which is only 44.7GB.

      HDD manufacturers want 1000 bytes per KB, but I don't buy that at all. It no different from the ram manufacturers rounding up 536866816 to 512MB when 512MB is actually 536870912.
  • by Tiroth (95112)
    Looks like people are confusing bits and bytes. 48GB does not appear in the article anywhere, so I assume this is obtained by dividing 384Gb by 8.

    24 layers x 16Gb package = 384Gb, so the article itself is consistent.
  • Why is it that you can only write to a NAND gate 100,000 times before it stops working? Is it the material they are using or something with the voltage?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The NAND gate is a union worker, also entitled to a smoke break every 3,000 write cycles.
    • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday September 06, 2007 @12:03PM (#20495511) Homepage Journal
      It's due to the way Flash works. A flash bit is basically a conductor surrounded by an insulator. To store a bit, you apply a large charge to the insulator to increase the charge of the conductor, basically your burning through the insulator to get your charge though. Once it is on there, to read the charge you have to apply another large charge to the insulator and see if the resultant charge is n or n + m. The m factor comes from latent charge on the conductor.

      Anyway, the upshot of this is that because you have to constantly burn charge through the insulator to use the part, eventually you basically burn out the insulator and cause it to leak charge. Once it starts leaking, you lose your stored bits and the part is useless.
      • Thanks. Yeah I remember from my circuits class designing memory but now that I think about it we had a constant power supply to keep the charge. In this case you don't so you have to keep it some other way. Thanks for the reply.
        • Yeah memory that needs power to keep it's contents is known of as a ram. Much faster than flash and basically no limit on write frequenc but the boards to make it act like a disk are expensive and you have to make damn sure it keeps power if you have anything important stored there.

      • by treeves (963993)
        So is the summary (I didn't RTFA of course) misleading by continually referring to NAND flash having this limitation? Doesn't it also apply to NOR flash?
        OK, I just looked at the Flash entry on wikipedia, and it appears that it's even worse for NOR flash.
      • I thought that only writes were impaired, reads didn't affect the flash at all.

        Your explanation would mean that both reads and writes degrade the flash.
    • by Knara (9377)
      Keep in mind that the 100,000 writes number is a stock number that seems to go up all the time, not that this comment directly addresses the "why".
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Bacon Bits (926911)
      It's wholly one of mechanical endurance of the components, AFAIK. The gate is wedged, for lack of a better term. Everything physical wears out. It was much worse in the early 1990s, but whole orders of magnitude in improved performance have been made since then.

      I've never seen a study conclude that the write limitation on NAND flash-based devices is a significant impact. Some of the studies have cited worst case scenarios of 50 years of continuous operation. It is far more likely that the device will p
      • the funny thing is, i haven't seen a manufacturer list MTBF in write cycles in over 5 years. wt the newer materials, and ar levelling, the worst that i've seen is a mtbf of 1 million hours of continuous use. there is no ention of write cycles , ever!
        • by networkBoy (774728) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @02:07PM (#20497159) Homepage Journal
          Flash is rated in erase cycles, not write cycles. Erase is the most damaging event to the tunnel oxide layer in the device, which is why they fail.
          Flash Cell stackup (same for NOR and NAND, the interconnection of cells determines what type of array it is):

          G - gate (metal)
          ONO - Oxide/Nitride/Oxide layer
          FG - Floating Gate (Poly)
          tOx - Tunnel Oxide (very thin)
          Si - wafer (NPN/PNP wells)
          -nB
          • by JoelKatz (46478)
            For practical purposes, there's no difference. Every write (to a particular cell) is preceded by an erase (that includes that cell).
    • by Intron (870560)
      For a laptop drive replacement, drop cycles are just as important as erase/write cycles. After a few drops a laptop harddrive starts going "eeeeeeeeek eeeeeeeeeeek eeeeeeeeek" whereas I hear no sound coming from the flash drive.
  • Just think 48 GB of storage space on a Fat32 Filesystem
    what a waste ...
    • by TeknoHog (164938)
      Imagine a Beowulf cluster of 48 HP 48GXs with 48 GB each.
    • by operagost (62405)
      Fortunately, Microsoft hard-coded XP and later to not format partitions larger than 32 GB with FAT32. It's always possible these will ship with FAT32 via the use of some other utility, but it seems unlikely.
  • Given the low price of RAM these days (1 or 2 gigs being standard) minimising the need for swapping, and availability of tmpfs in the Linux kernel, I'm surprised there are not more flashdrive based linux boxes available these days.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)
      Have you actually bought a sizeable flash drive? 4GB CD cards are starting to be common, I think CF cards are the most affordable flash drive that you can reasonably use as a system drive. But for the same price, you might buy a 300GB hard drive. Not only that, there doesn't seem to be any affordable SATA-based flash drives, which is quickly becoming the only drive connection type found in computers.

      So it would work great for a network terminal, there doesn't seem to be enough for most people to use just
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Com2Kid (142006)
        2GB SD cards are still a better band for your buck, typically. In the very least, compatibility is better. :)

        You can get them pretty easily for $20 a pop.

        Amazingly enough Amazon has 2GB SD cards cheaper than Newegg. $15 a pop (no free shipping though!)

        That is $30 for 4GB, or $60 for 8GB.

        Not quite enough to get Vista up and running, but it should do fine for a stand alone Linux box. :-D

        I wonder what the throughput would be if a proper hardware controller was put in place and you had 50 of those things in p
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Spokehedz (599285)
          I can't find it now, but I remember a device that would take a bunch of SD cards (like, 4 slots) and would combine them into a big disk that had (I believe) SATA on it. So, you would take a bunch of these cheap 2GB SD cards, and it would make one big disk out of them all.

          http://www.geekstuff4u.com/product_info.php?manufa cturers_id=&products_id=492 [geekstuff4u.com]

          Not it, but close. Also way too expensive.
        • The newer SD cards are now being called SDHC (supported by newer devices only). NewEgg had them for $75-$90 when I looked yesterday.

          There are also 16GB ($350?) and 32GB SDHC cards in the pipeline, but still not in the retail channel or priced at a sane level yet.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I'm surprised there are not more flashdrive based linux boxes available these days.

      There will be several million shortly...

      # Mass storage: 1024 MiB SLC NAND flash, high-speed flash controller;
      # Drives: No rotating media.

      From the OLPC Spec [laptop.org]
  • The problem with the concept of wear leveling is that I hadn't been able to find any specs on such a feature, or whether it actually exists in a product. From what I've heard of it, it would seem that it would only wear-level the free space and often-written files, so writes could still easily hammer some areas more than others, and it gets worse the more you fill up a drive. I'm not sure how it would work the way it's claimed to work, the system would work best if it kept track of the number of writes to
    • You need to have either firmware on the device that handles wear leveling (this seems appropriate for IDE drives or as part of the spec for flash media standards) or use a file system which handles it for you.

      One of the biggest offenders is file systems (such as the default configuration for NTFS) that track last access times. That information is all stored in the MFT for NTFS, so frequently accessed files will be writing to this table constantly.
      • Flash devices have a small microcontroller already embedded in them to control programming and erase voltages. It also is responsible for wear leveling (at least in NOR devices).
    • by dan42 (740934)
      My company uses a flash filesystem from Intel for flash in our products.
      It features "wear-leveling", but a big problem is that in our system ~50% of the storage space has static files that are never modified, so that area is never erased. The wear-leveling only works well if ALL the files are modified frequently. If we fill the flash up with files and then modify only one file 100,000 times (can be done in about an hour or so), the product is dead.
  • The sizes of SSHDs reported recently are kinda like the odd sizes of SCSI drives.
  • by G4from128k (686170) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @12:13PM (#20495623)
    Even at only 1,000 writes of reliable lifespan, 48 GB could handle 48 TB of writes or over 4,000 hours of continuous writing of compressed HD video (or about 2 years of 40 hr/week writes of a video stream). Checking my average usage of disk I/O finds that I only average about 2 GB of writes per day which would suggest that this device would last me 24,000 days (or 65 years). And if the life is 10,000 or 100,000, then I'd see 10X or 100X that lifespan.

    Your mileage may vary, but I'd bet that 99% of users would never keep their computer (especially a laptop that is the more likely application for flash-based drives) for long enough to see the disk fail from wear.
    • by drrck (959788)
      I don't think that is would "just fail" either. What you should see is a slightly lesser overall capacity when those sectors become marked as unavailable, right?
      • by russotto (537200)
        Unfortunately, wear leveling also means that when one cell fails, many others are likely to go real soon now. So when you start getting bad sectors, time to replace the device.
      • by compro01 (777531)
        though keep in mind that the 48GB might really be 49 or 50* to provide spare sectors in the same manner hard drives do.

        *numbers not necessarily based on any factual information.
        • though keep in mind that the 48GB might really be 49 or 50* to provide spare sectors in the same manner hard drives do.

          Based on my experience buying CF and SD cards, this is actually where the 4.8 percent difference between a MB and a MiB goes. When you buy, say, a 512 MB memory card, it is actually a 512 MiB (536 MB) memory card where 4.8 percent of the sectors are spared. I've bought three "1 GB" cards, each of which had 1,024 MB available for files, folders, and allocation data.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by smallfries (601545)
      You're assuming that the 2GB a day could be spread evenly over the disk. This would vary depending on how much free space you have on the device. If your drive is 1% full then you can distribute your writes over the other 99%. But most people don't keep their storage mainly empty. In fact people tend to run just under the limit - hence the saying that crap always expands to fill the available space. If your drive was 99% full then you can't distribute the writes over the parts with data (as it would have to
      • If your drive is 1% full then you can distribute your writes over the other 99%. But most people don't keep their storage mainly empty. In fact people tend to run just under the limit

        Citation needed, at least for common uses of flash memory. One common use case for flash memory is in digital cameras. A photographer shoots a "roll", copies everything from the pictures folder on the flash card to a larger drive, and deletes the "roll" from the flash card. Even for larger drives such as hard disk drives, Windows encourages the user to keep 15 percent of the drive free so that Defrag can work more efficiently.

      • by ivan256 (17499)
        You're assuming that the entire capacity of the chip would be exposed to the end user, and none would be reserved for dynamic load leveling.

        You're also assuming that unchanged data would never be moved by the load leveling algorithm.

        I don't think either are valid assumptions, and you're just plain wrong.
        • OK, all three replies came up with the same points but I'll reply to you since you've put them most succinctly. Your point about reservation makes sense, and it does change the overall picture. Spare blocks on the disk would increase the ability to do load leveling. So lets consider the case where we have a disk with 10 blocks, and lets say 4 are free (these can be a mixture of really free, and reserved blocks). If I repeatedly write to a used block (updating / overwriting) then I have five choices of where
          • by ivan256 (17499)

            So that block needs to be copied to one of the original choice of 5 places. Unless I choose to keep the dirty data in memory, and hope that I don't run out of storage / lose the power then I can indeed level over all 10 blocks in the disk. But is it reasonable to assume that I can cache the dirty values this way to level over the whole disk rather than just the free space?

            When you move a block, you don't have to "cache" the data. You wouldn't erase the data from the original location until it was successf

            • If I write to a block that is already in use (say 2) then I have two blocks in flight, my new block N, and the contents of block 2 which either have to go somewhere else or get cached in memory. So *moving* the contents of a block so that I can write into that location takes two writes instead of one. How is this improving the duty cycle?
              • by ivan256 (17499)
                First off, you only have one block in flight, because you don't erase the old block off the original location until it's successfully written to the new location. It doesn't have to be cached anywhere during this process for integrity purposes.

                Second of all, it improves duty cycle because you are moving static data to a more worn area in order to bring a less used block into service. Data that lives on a block with a low write count (relative to the other cells on the device) is unlikely to be written frequ
                • OK, I see what you're saying now. We're using a slightly different definition of "in-flight".

                  Second of all, it improves duty cycle because you are moving static data to a more worn area in order to bring a less used block into service.

                  It's called "load leveling" because it distributes the wear, not because it reduces the wear.

                  Thanks for the explanation - it makes a lot more sense now. Yes, both my original assumptions were complete tosh then :)

      • by Kjella (173770)
        If your drive was 99% full then you can't distribute the writes over the parts with data (as it would have to be moved somewhere else negating the benefit), and then you run into the problem with the limited duty cycle.

        If you got 10,000 write cycles, after 9000 write cycles to a block spend one extra cycle (that's 0.01%) to swap places with a 100 write cycles block. Don't make this more complicated than it nees to be.
      • You're assuming that the 2GB a day could be spread evenly over the disk. This would vary depending on how much free space you have on the device. If your drive is 1% full then you can distribute your writes over the other 99%. But most people don't keep their storage mainly empty. In fact people tend to run just under the limit - hence the saying that crap always expands to fill the available space. If your drive was 99% full then you can't distribute the writes over the parts with data (as it would have to
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by msgtomatt (1147195)
      Your calculation of 24,000 days is when the drive reaches total failure. Your logic does apply to camcorder applications in which data is always written sequentially. But, in PC applications you do not write the information as a bit stream, you write things fairly randomly. When you change the contents of a file without changing the file size, you update the same physical memory locations. So after you update your file a 1,000 times, it becomes corrupted and you loose your data. Once a single byte becomes c
  • "The article extrapolates to 384 GB..."

    This is one case where I am DEFINITELY not RTFA.
  • It used to be that there were serious implications if you engaged in flashing, potentially including jail time!

    The world has come a long way when any geek can flash thousands of times and not have problems with his hard disk.
  • IPod (Score:4, Funny)

    by dazedNconfuzed (154242) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @12:21PM (#20495713)
    iPod Touch, meet Hynix 48-GB Flash MCP!
  • media storage (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Floritard (1058660) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @12:22PM (#20495739)
    It is just writing that is limited right? Myself, I'd love to have the space to host all my media, most of which just sits archived on dvd-r. I'd only need to write to the disk once. Seems most people, aside from those who do video production, really only need large amounts of space to serve/store media. Be cool to just keep a 200 gig SATA for regular use and just keep buying these suckers and fillin' them up for all that media. Later, when they're cheap that is.
    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

      It is just writing that is limited right?

      Actually, it "flashes" on both read and write, so while limiting your writes will extend the life of the disk, constant reading is just the same as constant writing.

      There's a post above that explains it better but basically, flash writes by bursting a charge through an insulator to the storage bit, changing the charge. To read it sends another burst through the insulator and it reads the value based on what the final charge is (initial burst charge + what was in the storage bit).

      It's the insulator that we

    • by Aetuneo (1130295)
      Cheap as in 4.4GB for between 20 and 30 cents? That's the current price for DVD+Rs, as I recall (HD space is about 1GB for 20 - 30 cents). When you can get a 4GB flash card (SD is a nice form factor - easy to store and move around - so I'll say and SD card) for under 40 cents, it might be ready to compete with DVD+Rs for write once applications. Until then, I'll go with the DVDs, thanks.
      • Actually that is what I'm talking about. Not necessarily as cheap as DVD-+Rs, but something real cheap that doesn't require swapping out discs that you'd write to only once and read from for the rest of it's life. If it's for movies/music then it isn't as though you're going to be reading the same part of the disk constantly (unless you wanted to watch Caddyshack 1000+ times, and actually I may have done that by now). Solid state HDs would probably be better for this task and they're only going to get cheap
    • by JoelKatz (46478)
      I use portable storage devices to move data from one place to another. Generally, I need to remove the old stuff to make room for the new stuff. Until these device become large enough to compete with hard drives, which they are nowhere near, they will tend to be used for volatile, mobile data.

      When your laptop can easily have a 64Gb flash-based storage device, a comparable hard drive will hold 1TB. People have never been satisfied with 1/16th the storage they could have, and I don't think that's going to cha
  • Something that should be mentioned when talking about these things is HyperDrive4 [hyperossystems.co.uk]
  • by eno2001 (527078) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @12:47PM (#20496117) Homepage Journal
    ...would you really want to buy something from a company named Hynix? At worst it sounds like a Unix that smells like ass. At best it sounds like a bunch of stoned Unix devels.
  • What about RAID? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GreatBunzinni (642500) on Thursday September 06, 2007 @01:18PM (#20496547)
    Recently, this whole flash drive business has been popping up in the news, with announcements of a whole gob of commercial solid-state drives based on flash technology and the like. Nonetheless, there is a big void in the flash drive world that, at least at first glance, could be easily filled with trivial technology and off the shelf products but no one seems to be paying any attention.

    I'm talking about RAID + flash cards.

    Flash cards are everywhere and, although their cost per GB is rather high, a 1GB card is easily affordable (1GB microSD card for less than 10 euros) and prices are dropping constantly. If someone decided to build a RAID card reader, we could easily get a foot in the door. For about 60 euros it would be possible to get something between a slowish but reliable 6GB flash drive or a speedy and snappy 1GB flash drive.

    So why exactly didn't anyone thought of this? We already have IDE CF card readers, some models supporting 2 drives, that can be had for about 6 euros. Why not a RAID flash card reader?
    • Keep your eye on Violin http://www.violin-memory.com/products/violin1010.h tml [violin-memory.com]
    • by dfn_deux (535506)
      The difference is that not all NAND flash is created equally. The multi-layer cell type which is commonly used in commodity flash devices isn't nearly as fast nor as reliable as the single-layer cell type which is used in the highspeed drive replacements we are seeing hit the market now. The difference isn't trivial when an mtron SLC SSD can do about 5 times the throughput speed of competing higher density SSDs which use MLC nand flash.

      I don't work for mtron, but I am a satisfied customer.

    • by thedohman (932417)
      Oh, you mean a device like a USB Hub + Software RAID?

      Sure, it won't be as fast as SATA or a controller connected to the PCI(express) bus, but it is flash in a RAID and at least as fast as the 5400rpm IDE HD in my laptop.... (no I haven't tried it, but all my flash drives do rate faster than my HD according to SiSoft)

      I remember seeing something like this quite a while ago... I think 256MB sticks were high-end at the time, and they put 4 of them in a single hub to get a full, amazing GB of flash storage.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by takev (214836)
      It is called P2

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P2_(storage_media) [wikipedia.org]

      From the wiki: The P2 Card is essentially a RAID of SD memory cards
    • A RAID array of Flash drives? You mean like this [google.co.uk]? You'll probably want to skip about 2 minutes and 10 seconds into the video to see the interesting part.

  • I clearly am going to need to be set up for group EIGHT access. </flynn>
  • Not parallel (Score:2, Informative)

    It's not clear if it's possible to write to them in parallel -- if so the device should be pretty damn fast.

    It's pretty obvious that it's not possible to write to this array of chips in parallel, because you just can't fit enough pins in a tiny package to provide the necessary interface for talking to 24 chips simultaneously. Also, take a look at the picture from TFA: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/upload/news/070905_p10 _hynix.jpg [koreatimes.co.kr] - you can see that all the leads to the different chips are wired to the same pads. This doesn't prove my point - they could all be power or ground connections, but looking at the comp

    • For cost reasons I think they probably connect the most pins to all the chips - so you can only send data to one chip at a time. My guess is that there is a chip select line per chip though, otherwise it wouldn't work.

      But the interface could be clocked faster than each chip can write. E.g. imagine a device with a write cycle time of 40ns, or 25Mhz. And each cycle is a byte (or larger - x16 devices exist). So the interface can transfer data at just under 25Mbytes per second.

      One chip can't write as fast as th
    • by JoelKatz (46478)
      They probably don't do this in such an early chip because, as you suggest, this is intended to demonstrate capacity, not speed. But they can connect all the pins in parallel and minimize the pin count and *still* operate the chips in parallel. There are a number of ways to do this.

      One simple way is for each device to have two 'chain' pins, one for 'in' and one for 'out'. You connect one chip's in to the supply, and then each chip's out to the next chip's in. The last chip's out is grounded. On power up, eac
  • 100,000 write cycles is plenty, so long as you buffer the writes and limit their frequency. All you need to do is either put a big honking RAM writeback cache next to the FlashRAM, or enforce writeback caching in the OS. If you can get the write frequency down to about two writes per hour, and do good load leveling, your FlashRAM will last for 5 years, which is about as good as most consumer grade hard disks (and possibly better, since the 'expired' FlashRAM drive could still be perfectly readable). Two wri
  • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@keirstea d . o rg> on Thursday September 06, 2007 @01:38PM (#20496851) Homepage

    Hynix, has announced they have stacked 24 flash chips in a 1.4mm thick multi-chip package

    According to NASA, it may even be possible to stack 48 chips in a 2.8mm package. Scientists also speculate someday we may be able to achieve up to 240 chips in a 14mm thick package.

  • Has anyone else wondered, with all of this extra data at its command, how is Tron going to defeat the Master Control Program this time?
  • Wow, and all the graphics were done on a Super Foonly, which had at best a couple of meagbytes.
  • I thought we were getting a new RPN graphing calculator. Doh.
  • Flash chips have a standard interface: a set of control lines and an 8 or 16 bit address/data bus. In multichip flash packages, each chip is typically mapped to a portion of the address space. This also allows backwards compatibility when the die density eventually doubles. (e.g. I was using some Micron parts where the 4Gb part was a 2x 2Gb MCP. A couple months later and the chip was revised to 1x 4Gb.)

    If you want parallel read, you're going to need a whole lotta pins, and corresponding board area. Whereas
    • by JoelKatz (46478)
      You do not need a lot of pins or a lot of board area for parallel read. So long as the interface transfer rate exceeds the device's internal speed by a significant amount, you can increase the effective transfer speed without increasing the pin count.

      Basically, each device simply determines where it is in the chain (either by a two-pin series connection or by self-sorting by unique device ID) and ignores the data that isn't for it. So you could, for example, clock 32 units of data for each of 32 physical de
      • by mako1138 (837520)
        I'm talking about existing/realistic parts. Certainly you can put everything on a bus. That's obvious. But a bus within an MCP? I doubt that Hynix would go through all the effort to create what amounts to a memory controller when they can just add a mux to the existing logic.
  • I personally think flash memory is going to take over from traditional backup tapes, not hard drives. The problem seems to be writability and that might be a physical problem. If however, we get to build 48GB cartridges they come pretty close to small business backup tapes. Flash drives are very portable like tapes while hard drives are very 'sensitive' to shocks and other external factors.
    • I personally think flash memory is going to take over from traditional backup tapes, not hard drives. The problem seems to be writability and that might be a physical problem. If however, we get to build 48GB cartridges they come pretty close to small business backup tapes. Flash drives are very portable like tapes while hard drives are very 'sensitive' to shocks and other external factors.

      Interesting idea... the 4GB SD cards are almost dirt cheap now (less then $40?) and there are 8GB SDHC cards already

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