Toshiba today announced it has begun mass producing NAND flash chips using a 24nm CMOS manufacturing process, representing the smallest geometry and highest density yet in NAND flash, the company said.
The announcement steals a bit of thunder from IM Flash -- a joint venture between Intel and Micron -- which said it would begin churning out 25nm-based NAND chips by the end of 2010.
"Toshiba leads the industry in fabricating high density, small die size NAND flash memory chips," Toshiba said in a statement. "Application of the 24nm generation process technology will further shrink chip size, allowing Toshiba to boost productivity and bring further enhancements to the high density, small sized products. The 24nm process products are also equipped with Toggle DDR, which enhances data transfer speed."
Toshiba says its latest technology has already been applied to 2 bit-per-cell 64Gb chips that are the world's smallest on a single chip (8GB), and will also add 32Gb and 3 bit-per-cell products fabricated on a 24nm process soon.
Yanko Design is known for conceptual products that represent outside-the-box thinking, some of which are brilliant while others are downright outlandish. We'll let you be the judge of which category the Concrete USB thumb drive falls under.
Crafted from cemet, the capacity also represents the drive's weight in grams. These would come in three varieties, including 64GB (64g), 128GB (128g), and 256GB (256g), any of which would be enough to store a whole bunch of data and smack a would-be robber across his temple if he tries to hijack your sensitive documents.
Who knows if this will ever make it to market, but if it does, be careful not to leave it dangling from your PC's USB port where gravity would take its toll.
Whether you are preparing to reuse a hard disk for another operating system, clear off your junk shelves by passing along outdated drives to a friend or relative, donate an old PC to a charity or school, discard a too-small USB drive or flash memory card, or repurpose an SSD, you don’t want to leave any information on the storage device. With stories abounding of identity theft aided by information lifted from discarded storage devices, you want devices you no longer plan to use to have no usable information when they head out the door.
When you erase/delete a file from your computer, it’s not really gone until the areas of the disk it used are overwritten by new information. If you use the normal Windows delete function, the “deleted” file is sent to the Recycle Bin until the space it uses is required by other files. If you use Shift-Delete to bypass the Recycle Bin, the space occupied by the file is marked as available for other files. However, the file could be recovered days or even weeks later with third-party data recovery software. As long as the operating system does not reuse the space occupied by a file with another file, the “deleted” file can be recovered.
In this article, we'll show you how to erase your drives the right way, leaving no trace behind.
Another solid state drive (SSD) hits the streets today. This one, the G3, is from SanDisk, which claims the G3 offers “a compelling alternative to a 7,2000RPM hard disk drive.”
The G3 comes in capacities of 60GB and 120GB. SanDisk claims the drives will open files up to twice as fast as a 7,200RPM HDD, allowing for faster boot times and snappier system performance. The drives will allow read speeds up to 220MB/s, and write speeds up to 120MB/s.
SanDisk uses a proprietary smart flash management system, called ExtremeFFS, to accelerate random write performance, which SanDisk says increases performance and endurance of the G3. SanDisk estimates the 120GB drive can endure up to 80TB of data written to it during its lifetime. This, plus “rigorous shock and vibration testing”, allows SanDisk to offer the drives with 10-year limited warranties.
The G3 drives are Windows 7 certified, and compatible with XP and Vista, as well as Linux and Apple’s OS X Snow Leopard.
As with all other SSD offerings of late, this new technology doesn’t come cheap. The 60GB drive will cost you $229.99, while the 120GB drive will set you back $399.99.
Super Talent has the high-end enterprise and database server markets squarely in its sights with the unveiling of the company's new TeraDrive SSD series.
"Super Talent has a solid track record of developing leading edge SSDs. Their new TeraDrive series, incorporating SandForce technology, is an impressive advance in enterprise storage," said Thad Omura, VP Marketing at SandForce, Inc.
The TeraDrive series is being offered in capacities from 50GB to 200GB and boast support for SATA 3Gbps. Speed shouldn't be an issue, not on paper, anyway. According to Super Talent, its TeraDrive series come capable of of up to 250MB/s read and write speeds "that will not degrade over time," as well as up to 30,000 IOPS.
You can only swim against the tide for so long. Sony, after 11 long years swimming against the tide, has announced that its giving in, and it too will produce a line of SD cards.
Sony says “the new cards will complement” their existing Memory Stick line of memory cards, but it concedes the Memory Stick’s unpopularity by saying it needs to “satisfy the needs of a broader range of users.” (Such as everybody else in the known universe.)
Sony’s SD/SDHC cards will be Class 4, and range in capacity from 2 GB to 32 GB. A line of microSD/microSDHC cards will also be available, with capacities from 2 GB to 8 GB. Retail prices will range from $14.99 for the 2 GB SD card to $159.99 for the 32 GB SDHC card. MicroSD cards will range in price from $14.99 to $44.99.
Don’t think Sony’s yet given up on out-lasting the tide. According to Sony, the “Memory Stick is [still] the recommended media for Sony products.”
The module consists of 26 x 26 2T memory cells in an array structure placed on a polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) substrate. This “organic flash memory” is non-volatile (if a single day’s memory retention can be considered non-volatile), and has an erasing voltage of 6V and a reading voltage of 1V.
Researchers say the memory can be used for large-area sensors, electronic paper, or any device that requires its memory retention time extended. Also, because the sheet is pressure sensitive, it can easily be converted into an “intelligent pressure sensor”.
The new package owes its lean figure to a “bare” die that is just half as thick as a conventional die. The ultra-thin package contains a “bare” die that is only 15 micrometers thick. This is quite an achievement on Samsung’s part as it has managed to overcome “the conventional technology limits of a chip's resistance to external pressure when under 30um in height.” Chips based on this new technology seem tailor-made for SSDs and mobile devices.
Micron reports that the two new chips can achieve up to 30,000 write cycles, a six-fold increase over present technology. Furthermore, the chips will support the Open NAND Flash Interface (ONFI) 2.1 synchronous interface, which can deliver a 4x to 5x improvement in data transfer rates over legacy NAND interfaces. Improved throughput specifications and smaller size hold promise for expanding flash memory options for consumers.
In recent days, several SSD manufacturers have made it known that they wanted nothing to do with Samsung’s new 32nm NAND Flash chips. Now Samsung is coming clean and admitting to the issues. The new chips suffer from unacceptably slow write speeds, and are therefore not suitable for use in SSDs. It seems the problem lies mainly with the chips interaction with existing flash controllers.
According to Samsung, "… for quality SSDs, every NAND process geometry upgrade requires a matching upgraded controller. Should (Samsung's) 30nm-class NAND be used with a conventional controller of insufficient quality, performance slowdowns are indeed possible."
NAND flash memory uses floating-gate transistors to create arrays of memory cells. As these arrays scale to smaller and smaller sizes, errors will accumulate faster. Error Correcting Code (ECC) on the controller is used to correct these issues. If an insufficiently powerful controller is used, the memory may become corrupted. Samsung is currently working on its own flash controller to pair with the 32nm NAND chips. In the meantime, don’t expect SSD price drops for at least several months.