Feeds

Intel fixes flash and flashes 3-bit NAND

Solves its 'embarrassing problem'

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
All aboard the Poo Bus! Ding ding, route Number Two departing
Only another three days of pooing and I can have a ride!
Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it
Court pops open cans of worms and whup-ass in Fitbit case
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
The IT Crowd's internet in a box gets $240k of crowdcash for a cause
'Outernet' project proposes satellite-fuelled 'Lantern' WiFi library for remote areas
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.