Feeds

Intel fixes flash and flashes 3-bit NAND

Solves its 'embarrassing problem'

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Intel has fixed the BIOS password bug in its new 34nm NAND chips and has also introduced 3-bits per cell 34nm process chips.

The bug affected users of Intel's X25-M and X18M 34nm process NAND chips. If they set and then amended a BIOS password in any way, the data on the chip became unavailable. A downloadable firmware fix, available here, solves that embarrassing problem.

The X25-M and X18-M are 2-bit per cell multi-level cell (MLC) flash solid state drives. Intel and Micron, who have a flash foundry partnership, Intel Micron Flash Technologies, have now developed a 3-bit MLC chip at the 34nm process level. This increases the storage capacity of chips. A 3-bit X25-M, if one were made, would hold half as much data again as the 2-bit X25-M. Adding a third bit also lowers the cost per flash bit.

However it lowers reliability as well, and the Intel/Micron 3-bit MLC reliability is not good enough, yet, for anything other than flash thumb drives. Micron is sampling 3-bit MLC chips for such use.

SanDisk and Toshiba announced a 4-bit MLC NAND technology in February this year, saying it was built using a 43nm process. There is a race going on to develop the highest-density flash with sufficient reliability and speed for deployment in thumb drives and, with increasing reliability needed, mobile Internet devices, smart phones, netbook and notebook storage and enterprise storage and server caching applications.

Jim Handy of Objective Analysis thinks that SanDisk's most recent teleconference indicates that SanDisk and Toshiba will have a 32nm 3-bit chip, which is expected to begin to ship at the end of the year. He says Micron and Intel: "have plans to move to the next process, one they call their "2xnm generation" (20-29nm) by the end of the year. They are confident that their 3-bit technology is capable of being used at this process geometry."

Handy also said: "By the first part of 2010, manufacturers with 3-bit 3xnm product will be impressively more profitable than their competition." ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Chumps stump up $1 MEELLLION for watch that doesn't exist
By the way, I have a really nice bridge you might like...
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.