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Toshiba Developing High-Density 1TB SSD 149

MojoKid writes "A new partnership between Toshiba and Tokyo's Keio University has led to the creation of a new technology that could allow SSDs up to 1TB in size to be made 'with a footprint no larger than a postage stamp.' The report states that the two have been able to integrate 128GB NAND Flash chips and a single controller into a stamp-sized form factor. They've even made it operational with a transfer rates of 2Gbps (or about 250MB/sec) with data transfer that relies on radio communication."
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Toshiba Developing High-Density 1TB SSD

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  • Radio? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The MAZZTer ( 911996 ) <<megazzt> <at> <>> on Sunday February 14, 2010 @09:00PM (#31139134) Homepage

    "...with data transfer that relies on radio communication."

    Well that sounds like an eavesdropping invitation if I ever heard one.

  • Re:Radio? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @09:18PM (#31139278) Journal
    Probably more than the naive observer would expect; but less than you would think.

    My understanding, from TFA, is that the radio communication being used is very short range, a substitute for the usual maze of tiny and hard to fabricate gold wire interconnects that go between stacked dice. Die stacking itself isn't new; but the real-world manufacturability drops off unpleasantly as you stack higher, because of all the little wires. If you can use very short range RF instead, your life becomes rather less painful.

    Assuming a suitable faraday cage layer isn't baked in, somebody with a nice antenna and some serious DSP could probably capture some of the traffic from the chip if they could get within a few cm of it. I'd hesitate to base the next generation of smart cards on such a thing; but it isn't as though it would necessarily be a radical advance over what you can do today with a few needles and a logic probe.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @09:38PM (#31139444) Journal
    Was your SSD from the cheap seats, or one of the decent ones? People were doing substantially better than that, in terms of lifespan, back when "SSD" meant "CF card in an IDE adapter"... With an N of 1, I suspect that you might have just gotten a dud. Mechanical drives that are dead when you open the box aren't exactly unknown in the field(on the other hand, though, intel has had a couple of really embarrasing firmware issues, and anything that JMicron has cursed with their misbegotten controllers is utter junk, so the field does have some maturing to do).

    More broadly, though, size and reliability are actually closely linked with Flash SSDs. It is inherent in the nature of Flash that it will only survive a limited number of writes before a given block of cells becomes unwriteable at best and unreliable at worst. SSD controllers deal with this by trying to spread writes as evenly as possible over the available Flash space, and by having some amount of reserve space that can silently be substituted for failed blocks. The trouble, of course, is that since Flash is expensive, there is a strong commercial imperative to make as much as possible of the Flash you include visible storage space, so you can put a big shiny number on the box, and as little as possible reserve space, since that is hard to brag about. As a consequence, you'll note that cheap consumer SSDs ship with substantially less reserve flash than do the expensive; but reliability focused, enterprise ones(some of which will even let the customer adjust the allocation between storage and reserve).

    If you can make Flash denser and cheaper, you'll make it more likely that, for all but the crappiest fly-by-night shops soldering together stuff stolen from nearby dumpsters, adding more reserve Flash is cheaper than processing RMAs and dealing with angry customers. Improvements in the intrinsic reliability of Flash cells would be nice as well, of course; but we are already using vaguely RAID-like techniques to turn quantity into reliability, so improvements in density and cost are almost as good.
  • by darekana ( 205478 ) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @09:52PM (#31139580) Homepage

    Would you care to provide the model number of the SSD you used for reference?


  • by compro01 ( 777531 ) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @10:56PM (#31140054)

    It would take about 200TB to record a lifetime of audio at CD quality.

  • Re:Gaming? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @10:59PM (#31140086) Homepage

    With regards to DRM; fair enough.

    However, Blu-Ray disks only support up to 25GB per layer. In theory, an octo-layer disk would make that 200GB total. Toshiba though is talking about 1TB of space on something the size of postage stamp. That's quite game changer if I ever saw one. Having fast I/O is also a nice bonus.

    Perhaps consoles will never make it back to cartridge format because disks are so much cheaper to mass produce. But if someone can put this technology into an SSD drive at a reasonable price point, I'll be dropping one in my PS3, laptop, and desktop workstation. While were at it, maybe a few servers too.

    It always amazes me how Star Trek is so prophetic in regards to trends in technology. This new SSD revolution is equivalent to their isolinear chips. Wow, just wow!

  • by ZosX ( 517789 ) <> on Sunday February 14, 2010 @11:29PM (#31140274) Homepage

    You sure about that? 75 years is 657,000 hours. At FLAC sized files (350mb/hr) it would require 229,950,000 megabytes. I guess you are pretty close there!

  • Re:Radio? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Yaa 101 ( 664725 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:05AM (#31140512) Journal

    Radio communication does not say it has to be over the air, it means that there is a carrier wave (in the wire) that has the signals put on top of just like radio.

  • by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @01:06AM (#31140876) Homepage

    And with a few PetaBytes, video as well. It wont be long before bluetooth ear pieces capture video as well. You too could be walking talking 24/7 YouTuber in all of its annoying glory. At least this would have value for Policemen.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 2010 @01:20AM (#31140944)

    We always hear about SSD flash technology and how cool it is but we never seem to get it. SSDs are now more expensive than last year...So, what's the point of 1TB SSD when I can't even afford a 30GB one?

  • by mcrbids ( 148650 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:18AM (#31141540) Journal

    ... or about 35 TB to record a lifetime at 128k MP3, stereo, "near CD quality".

    Really - do you need your entire life recorded in CD quality? Mostly, you'll worry about proving crimes you didn't commit, so anything better than 32 Kbps MP3 is probably a waste. And while there will be those precious moments, most of your life will consist of you sitting and consuming media that's already recorded elsewhere anyway. Really, do you want hi-def audio copies of the Dresden and Star Trek reruns that you watched?

    A TB now costs about $90. If trends of the last 20 years continue, in about 10 years, a lifetime of audio at 128k MP3 will cost about $90, inflation adjusted.

  • Re:Gaming? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:12AM (#31143524)

    The key distinction here is that when a HDD dies, the data is effectively lost, requiring specialist techniques to recover. Most SSD failure modes, on the other hand, merely make blocks read-only.

  • by petermgreen ( 876956 ) <.plugwash. .at.> on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:31AM (#31143720) Homepage

    Lets look at a few metrics.

    1: performance: afaict SSDs are already the clear winner here.
    2: density: I can put a 2TB drive in a standard 3.5 inch bay. Afaict SSDs are generally the same size as laptop hard drives and you can put two of those in a 3.5 inch bay with readilly available adaptor kits. Afaict the drives go up to 512GB so the density is about half that of HDDs. For laptops the density situation is even closer (especially if the laptop in question only has a 9.5mm high bay).
    3: cost: the aforementioned 2TB hard drives cost $150-$300 while a 512GB SSD costs $1400 so the cost per gigabyte is about 20 to 40 times higher for the SSD.

    In other words the main issue for SSDs right now is cost.

  • by BobMcD ( 601576 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:42AM (#31144564)

    And while there will be those precious moments, most of your life will consist of you sitting and consuming media that's already recorded elsewhere anyway.

    Oh heck, its worse than that. I'd contend that fully 3/4 of a person's life isn't fit for being recorded at all:

    Consuming Media

    I'd say that the vast majority of those recordings would be of you talking to yourself, at best. Without video, the time spend doing most of it would lose its context anyway.

    In short, I'm guessing you could get all the important bits on less than 9 TBs...

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant