Feeds

Intel and Micron expose 3-bit flash

Targets SD with MLC

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

No sooner has a leaked Intel flash roadmap shown enterprise-grade multi-level cell (MLC) flash than Intel and Micron announce they are sampling 3-bit MLC product.

The two are sampling a 64Gb product built using their 25nm process technology and aimed at the Secure Digital flash card market. The die, measuring 131mm2, is 20 per cent smaller than Intel and Micron's current 64Gb MLC shipping product, and they claim that is the smallest and highest density flash card in production today.

MLC flash is seen as the golden key that can unlock the cost mantrap that has its teeth sunk deep into flash's tender thigh. But it also brings severe disadvantages with it. MLC flash is slower than the costly single-level cell (SLC) stuff and its write endurance, its ability to last over time, is much reduced, with every extra data bit per cell increasing MLC's disadvantage.

The response of the industry has been to design better controllers that can increase write endurance and the performance of the MLC product as well as dealing with reliability issues. Just today STEC has announced CellCare and S.A.F.E technologies in response to these issues. Micron has also mentioned enterprise-grade flash which Nimbus Data is using in storage array systems, and Intel also has enterprise-grade X25-E product coming.

The more bits in a flash cell the cheaper it is to store data, so 3-bit MLC is better than 2-bit MLC in this regard.

Intel and Micron said they were sampling 2-bit MLC product using 25nm process technology in February. They had 3-bit MLC in August last year with 34nm process technology and reliability only good enough for USB thumb drives. Micron was sampling that product then. Six months later they are sampling 3-bit MLC afresh so it looks as if there has been a substantial product improvement.

At this stage of the game it might be a stretch for Intel and Micron to produce enterprise-grade 3-bit MLC but, who knows, their development engineers might be on their way to cracking that enterprise nut. ®®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.