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Tosh intros small but SmartNAND chips

24nm and error correction

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Toshiba is replacing its current 32nm process flash chips with 24nm SmartNAND: flash with on-chip error correction.

The new chips will have faster controllers and deliver faster read and write speeds, although no numbers have been supplied. They will come in five capacity points, doubling up from 4GB to reach 64GB, and feature on-board ECC (error correction and control) logic. That will obviate the need for the host system to run ECC functions on its flash storage.

Toshiba SmartNAND

Toshiba reckons the new chips will be used for "consumer applications, including digital audio players, tablet PCs, information equipment, digital TVs, set-top boxes and other applications." We imagine that the chips will come in both single level cell and multi-level cell variants, optimised for performance and capacity respectively.

Smaller NAND process geometries deliver higher capacity flash dies but also reduce the chip's endurance, putting more emphasis on the controller functionality to combat this.

Intel and Micron have a 25nm process, which is used in Intel's 320 solid state drive. Samsung has a sub-30nm process but has not revealed the precise nanometre measurement.

Mass production of SmartNAND will start in the second and third quarters of this year. ®

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