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Data Storage Hardware

Intel, Micron Boost Flash Memory Speed by Five Times 67

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the fastest-draw-in-the-valley dept.
Lucas123 writes "IM Flash Technologies, a joint venture between Intel and Micron, announced they've been able to improve NAND memory and its circuitry in order to boost read/write speeds by five times their current ability. The new 8Gbit single-level cell, high-speed NAND chip will offer 200MB/sec read speeds and write speeds of up to 100MB/sec, which means faster data transfer between devices like solid-state drives and video cards. IM Flash Technologies plans to begin shipping the new chip later this year."
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Intel, Micron Boost Flash Memory Speed by Five Times

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  • That's fast (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Drinking Bleach (975757) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @03:32AM (#22271148)
    Will it finally make sense for USB 3 flash drives? ;)
  • AVAILABILITY? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 02, 2008 @03:38AM (#22271176)
    So what are the read/write cycles, how much will they cost, and when can I get 200GB of them all in a nice pretty box? Even 10GB would be good for a nice little web server. Near zero latency would mean slashdotting is reduced to network bandwidth.
  • What about lifetime? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Z00L00K (682162) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @04:42AM (#22271382) Homepage
    The lifetime of a flash memory has been one of the issues with flash memories. How good is that on those memories? Will they die after 1000 cycles or after a billion cycles?

    As usual - the lifetime of a product also requires the consumers to buy a new hot version.

  • Re:Wonder when... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bender_ (179208) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @05:22AM (#22271458) Journal

    AMD divested of their memory business years ago. You should look more often.
  • Re:Faster USB needed (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kjella (173770) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @05:35AM (#22271508) Homepage

    Yeah, but for solid state hard drives this is quite a leap. I'm starting to think winchester drives are going to be extinct within 5 years.
    Not unless the price still comes waaaaaaaaaaaaay down. It's not a technical difficulty of making it, I think BitMicro or whoever it was showed off a 900GB SSD in a 2.5" form factor. I don't remember the read/write specs but I think those too beat the crap out of any normal HDD. That trumphs everything a regular disk does, even on capacity. The downside is price, looking at the SSDs available now there's a 100:1 premium per GB. That might work out in a business laptop where 32GB SSD is more useful than 320GB HDD (which is about 3x as expensive as bulk desktop storage anyway), but not for normal users. Remember as laptops take over, more and more people only have a laptop and so they want to store everything on it. Heck, just game installs are 5GB each these days. If you use a digicam regularly, that adds up to some gigs particularly if you store in raw or edit in photoshop and save losslessly. That mp3 collection for your iPod, also a lot. But yeah, I want a quiet disk to boot from and my file server to be far, far away. Unfortunately there's no far, far away in this apartment...
  • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdotNO@SPAMworf.net> on Saturday February 02, 2008 @11:54PM (#22279256)

    Well, consider this: NAND is commonly used in solid state drives. I doubt companies like Dell, Lenovo and Apple would sell computers configured with SSD:s if they sucked it down with only a few cycles. This was a problem in early versions, but things have improved much and will surely improve to a point that makes it practically "unbreakable".


    Not really.

    There's still cycle time limits. The main issue came from NOR flash, which is different from NAND. NOR flash came first (mid-80s), and the very early versions suffered from poor lifetimes (~10,000 write-erase cycles). (However, they're perfect for firmware, which is their initial purpose - even during development, it's rare to wear it out). Modern NOR flash has a cycle life of around 100,000 cycles.

    In the early 90s, NAND flash came out, and due to their exploitation of quantum mechanics (NOR flash uses tunnelling and hot-electon injection (literally forcing electrons through the insulator). NAND flash uses tunnelling exclusively) resulted in a significant improvement in life - normally 1,000,000 cycles.

    Add in wear levelling, and things get interesting. Assuming a perfect wear-levelling algorithm, and maybe a large-block NAND chip (128kB block size), a 128MB chip (tiny these days) has 1,024 blocks. To wear it out, requires over a billion write-erase cycles! A GB chip would have 8192 blocks, thus over 8 billion write-erase cycles. And you want 32GB/64GB SSDs? It's gotten to the point where an SSD in normal use will probably outlast a mechanical disk.

    Oh, and most flash chips, these cycle times are very conservative - most will survive another order of magnitude of erase-write cycles before becoming unusuable.

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