Feeds

The Great TLC flash cash-slash: Coming soon to tablets, Ultrabooks

Super-dense storage tech moves towards 20K cycles

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

SMART recently announced that its controller technology, the Guardian Technology Platform, could get MLC flash to do 50 full drive writes/day for five years. Now SMART's president has said 1Xnm TLC could be driven to 15,000 to 20,000 PE cycles using SMART's Guardian controller technology, representing a 30X - 40X increase – implying 10-11 FULL DRIVE WRITES a day for five years...

That means 1Xnm TLC could be usable in some enterprise storage scenarios and should be a candidate for tablet computing storage. Ditto 2Xnm TLC. We'll remind ourselves here that Apple bought the Anobit flash controller firm for its MLC and TLC endurance extending technology. Seagate bought DensBits for the same TLC reason.

SMART's president John Scaramuzzo told El Reg: "The Guardian Technology Platform can deliver an SSD that achieves exponentially greater endurance than off-the-shelf TLC Flash. At the 1x process node, TLC with raw endurance of 500 PE cycles can potentially be extended up to 15K-20K PE cycles."

So how did we get to that 10-11 drive writes a day figure? Well, 20,000 divided by five gives you 4,000 a year. That number divided by 365.3 (days in the year) gives you 10.95. We'll round that down to 10-11 PE cycles a day, implying 10 drive writes a day for five years. Not bad, not bad at all.

Here's the background: 3-bit flash, Three Level Cell (TLC) flash has a much shorter endurance because cells can be written to in a program erase (PE) cycle far fewer times than 2-bit multi-level cell (MLC) flash which has a shoer endurance than 1-bit (Single Level Cell or SLC) flash. Each step down in cell size, described by the process geometry size in nanometres, reduces endurance some more.

Thus a 3Xnm TLC cell – meaning 39-30nm process geometry – could do 1,250 PE cycles; a 2Xnm cell (29-20nm) could do 750; and a 1X cell could do 500 (AnandTech numbers).

A flash drive controller can increase endurance through having spare cells on hand to replace worn-out ones; over-provisioning by detecting and correcting errors in the read signal from cells that are wearing out; via ECC; by better interpretation of the read signals; digital signal processing; as well as other techniques.

El Reg's conclusion: TLC flash prospects for tablet and enterprise use are real. Product is coming. ®

Don't forget to post your comments here, please.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016
Flash WORM has a serious use for archived photos and videos
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
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.
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.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.