Feeds

Fat NAND controllers to slim down

NAND controllers to lose die-dependent functions 

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Micron says some flash controller jobs are going to migrate down stack towards the NAND chips, freeing up controller manufacturers from chip-dependent work they shouldn't be doing.

It sees low-level flash controllers developing and taking on error management, taking this job away from existing NAND controllers.

Micron takes the view that today's NAND controllers carry out both die-specific and application-specific functions. They should only carry out application-specific functions and leave the die-specific stuff to the flash fab owners. Micron's Kevin Kilbuck, a strategic marketing director, says error correction and checking (ECC) and broader error management functions are die-specific whereas block management and wear-levelling are application dependent. How these are carried out on USB, tablet and enterprise storage array flash, for example, are very different, hence Micron's strategy.

Kilbuck says the benefit is that controller development can carry on without being hog-tied to specific NAND die technology implementations.

Micron is not interested in developing general NAND controllers and taking on SandForce, Pliant and other controller technology companies. Instead it sees a way to add value to its flash dies with its ClearNAND technology. Kilbuck anticipates similar products from Micron's flash fab competitors: "We know we're not alone."

Kilbuck says ClearNAND is an ASIC that sits between a NAND controller and the flash dies. It is not an IMTF (Intel Micron Flash Technologies) product, only a Micron product, and has a raw NAND-like interface from both directions: the NAND dies below and the NAND controller above.

Micron will add digital signal processing technology to its ClearNAND in future, seeing this as die-dependent. It thus poses a threat to Anobit, which is developing a line of controllers, using DSP to extend SSD endurance.

By 2014, Micron sees the flash market split between raw NAND, part-managed ClearNAND type product, and fully-managed NAND, which may well be seen in mobile phones. Micron has an eMMC controller, which provides fully-managed NAND for such devices. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
AWS pulls desktop-as-a-service from the PC
Support for PCoIP protocol means zero clients can run cloudy desktops
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.