Ho-hum, just some new Toshiba flash memory chips. Not so fast, though. The sheer existence of this chip could point to the impending production of a certain Apple product. This NAND memory module has a 64GB capacity consisting of sixteen 32Gb NAND chips. Toshiba is touting this as the world’s highest density NAND chip.
Back when the iPhone 3GS was torn apart (as is customary) we saw that is used single Toshiba NAND modules in either 16 or 32GB capacities. Could this be another hint that production is about to ramp up for a next generation Phone? It certainly would jive nicely with the rumors that Foxconn has already received orders for the new smartphone.
Toshiba expects to start mass producing the new chips in early 2010. That’s just in time to start stuffing them into new iPhones a few months later. The iPod Touch has always used a pair of NAND chips, so we may also see a 128GB iPod Touch.
Toshiba today reached another milestone by launching a 64GB embedded NAND flash memory module, which ranks as the highest capacity yet achieved in the industry.
The 64GB part serves as the flagship chip in a new line of six embedded NAND flash memory modules, including 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacities. Each one offers full compliance with the latest e*MMC standard and are designed with a variety of consumer electronics in mind, such as digital video cameras, smartphones, mobile phones, and even netbooks.
On the technical side, the 64GB embedded devices combines sixteen 32Gb (gigabit) NAND chips fabricated with Tosbhia's 32nm manufacturing process. It also contains a dedicated controller
Samsung today announced the industry's first mass production of its 30nm class, 32Gb (that's gigabit, not gigabyte), multi-level-cell (MLC) NAND memory with an an asynchronous DDR interface.
"With the new DDR MLC NAND, double data rate transmission can be achieved without increasing power consumption, giving designers a lot more latitude in introducing diverse CE devices," said Soo-In Cho, executive vice president and general manager of the Memory Division on Samsung.
According to Samsung, its DDR NAND chips will significantly improve read performance of mobile devices. The chips come capable of 133Mbps reads, and would replace SDR MLC NAND chips with read performance hovering around 40Mbps.
The company said its new chips can be used in SSDs for PCs, premium SD memory cards for smartphones, and in Samsung's proprietary moviNAND memory.
Intel working in conjunction with Numonyx unveiled breakthrough technology that will keep Moore’s Law accurate. The new process will enable non-volatile memory to cost-effectively scale down to 5nm.
Without getting too technical, the companies were able to build upon phase-change memory (PCM) and create a new technology call “phase-change memory and switch” (PCMS). PCMS integrates a new thin-film selector that effectively lets the memory/selector layers stack very densely. The nature of PCM allows it operate in two ways: quick “RAM like” bit changing, and non-volatile storage.
It is unlikely well see devices using the technology for “many years” according to Al Fazio, Intel Fellow and director of memory technology development. However, this is a key first step in continuing to scale technology according to Moore’s Law.
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.
Samsung has faced a lot of adversity when it comes to getting their fancy new SSDs to consumers. While they’re responsible for producing nearly half of the NAND flash in SSDs sold, they can’t seem to sell their own boxes.
That’s why they’re aiming their sights on the gamer crowd. According to Jim Elliott, Vice President of Memory Marketing for Samsung, “In addition to processing power, advanced graphic cards and high-resolution monitors, gamers want a fast storage drive for reduced loading times and faster game performance. Our 256GB SSD provides much better overall performance than conventional HDDs, as well as longer battery life for the notebook gamer. Clearly, all PC gamers will benefit from the blistering speeds and dazzling photorealism enabled by the Samsung 256GB SSD.”
Sure, the SSDs do cost a pretty penny, but if there’s any crowd that will pay a premium for the latest piece of hardware that will give them a competitive edge, it’s gamers. No official word yet as to when we can expect the adverts.
Good news for storage buffs - Micron today said it has begun mass producing 34nm flash memory products, resulting in 16Gb (gigabit) and 32Gb NAND chips that will push high end storage capacities to new levels.
"Our industry-leading NAND products are opening new possibilities for some of the world's most popular consumer electronic devices," said Brian Shirley, vice president of Micron's memory group. "With our new 16- and 32Gb NAND chips in mass production, we are enabling customers to design cost-effective, high-capacity storage in their small-form factor products, using less space and fewer die."
Micron says its 32Gb MLC NAND chip is 17 percent smaller than its first -generation 32Gb chip, and that both new chips offer transfer speeds of up to 200MB/s.
As a result of the new product, mainstream SDHC cards may double in capacity from 4-8GB to 8-16GB, with 64GB or more leading the high-end market.
It's been a strange and wonderful ride watching solid state drive technology finally start to come into its own and threaten traditional hard disk drives. Frustrating too, as the handful of SSDs that manage to blaze a performance trail cost an exorbitant amount per gigabyte, while some of the lower cost drives based on the JMicron controller suffer from stuttering problems. That's why we're thrilled to see JMicron take a mulligan.
According to news site DailyTech, JMicron plans to unveil a new NAND flash controller at Computex. Designed to fix the aforementioned stuttering problem, the JMF612 chip will use an ARM9 core in a 289-ball TFBGA package and support the use of up to 256MB of DDR or DDR2 RAM for external cache duties.
The other part of the equation involves a new generation of NAND flash chips that are smaller, faster, and cheaper to manufacturer. At least one company -- IM Flash Technologies, a joint venture between Intel and Micron -- is said to already be building 34nm NAND, and SSDs based on the new chip(s) will support NCQ. Moreover, JMicron's refreshed controller has been specifically designed to take advantage of these new NAND chips.
Yesterday Samsung announced that shipments of their 32GB moviNAND flash memory cards had begun.
The cards are currently aimed at cell phones, media players and other consumer electronics, and have been made using a 30nm manufacturing process. This allows them to process and store large amounts of multimedia, including videos, video games and television shows.
“The unquenchable consumer thirst for possessing large amounts of data is now embracing video in a big way, which in turn means rapidly escalating demand for higher density storage,” stated Jim Elliott, Samsung’s Vice President of Memory Marketing. “Samsung has taken the lead in providing OEMs with the highest density flash storage produced using the most cost-efficient process technology around – 30 nanometers.”
Reportedly, Samsung’s exports of cards will grow eight-fold “from 120 million 16GB equivalent units, which will account for 13 percent of the global memory card shipments in 2009, to 950 million units – or 72 percent of the total cards shipped – by 2013.”
No more than a couple months ago Toshiba showed off the first 32 nanometer NAND flash chips, and soon they’ll be the first company to ship them as well.
According to a press release from Toshiba, they’ll begin mass production of 32Gb (gigabit) NAND flash chips in July 2009, and 16Gb products will begin to ship Q3 of this very year.
So, what does all this mean for you, as a consumer? Sooner rather than later, manufacturers will be able to start packing more memory into smaller places. This translates to bigger SSDs, and even more internal memory for your smartphone and other mobile devices. Ahh, progress!