Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/08/02/toshiba_unveils_lba_flash/

Toshiba brings logical block addressing to Flash

Cheaper PMPs for all. Apparently.

By Tony Smith

Posted in Hardware, 2nd August 2006 13:44 GMT

Toshiba today claimed it will make Flash-based media players even cheaper. It has brought a memory addressing technique used by hard drives to solid-state storage.

The method is called Logical Block Addressing (LBA), and it assigns each memory cell an address that's independent of the memory device's structure or configuration. Currently, Flash cells have to be addressed explicity, forcing developers of products that incorporate Flash memory to take this into account when adding storage capacity, say.

Toshiba said LBA abstraction of the physical addressing allows the memory subsytem to be changed without rewriting the Flash driver. That, the company, claimed will save gadget makers time and money.

It also said the technique allows memory devices to incorporate ECC error correction and "wear levelling", which spreads the attempts to write data across the available Flash memory in a device to maximise its lifespan. Again, these features currently have to be implemented by the host rather than the memory's own controller circuitry.

Toshiba will begin sampling its LBA-NAND branded Flash memory chips this month. It will offer the memory in 2,4 and 8GB capacities. ®