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Intel, Micron co-develop 'fastest' NAND flash tech

Posted: 06 Feb 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NAND flash? ONFI 2.0? hard drive?

Intel Corp. and Micron Technology Inc. jointly unveiled a high-speed NAND flash memory technology that is touted to enhance the access and transfer of data in devices that use silicon for storage.

The new technologydeveloped by Intel and Micron and manufactured by the companies' NAND flash joint venture, IM Flash Technologiesis five times faster than conventional NAND, allowing data to be transferred in a fraction of the time for computing, video, photography and other computing applications.

The new high-speed NAND can reach speeds up to 200MBps for reading data and 100MBps for writing data, achieved by leveraging the new ONFI 2.0 specification and a four-plane architecture with higher clock speeds. In comparison, conventional single level cell NAND is limited to 40MBps for reading data and less than 20MBps for writing data.

When used in a hybrid hard drive, high-speed NAND can allow the system to read and write data anywhere between two or four times the speed when compared to conventional hard drives. For digital video cameras and video on demand services, high-speed NAND can enable a high-definition movie to be transferred five times faster than conventional NAND.

In addition, for the pending USB 3.0 interface, high-speed NAND is expected to effectively deliver on the increased data transfer rates of the new specification, where conventional NAND would act as the bottleneck in system performance. USB 3.0 is aiming for 10 times the bandwidth of current USB 2.0 solutions, or approximately achieving 4.8Gbit/s.

As NAND continues to move into the PC platform, the Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interface (NVMHCI) can take advantage of high-speed NAND in solutions such as Intel Turbo Memory, allowing for even better system performance. NVMHCI is designed to provide a standard software programming interface allowing OS drivers to access NAND flash memory storage in applications such as hard drive caching and solid-state drives.

Unlocking possibilities
"Micron looks forward to unlocking the possibilities with high-speed NAND," said Frankie Roohparvar, Micron VP of NAND development. "We are working with an ecosystem of key enablers and partners to build and optimize corresponding system technologies that take advantage of its improved performance capabilities."

"The computing market is embracing NAND-based solutions to accelerate system performance through the use of caching and solid-state drives," said Pete Hazen, director of marketing, Intel NAND products group. "At up to five times the performance over conventional NAND, the high speed NAND from Intel and Micron, based on the ONFi 2.0 industry standard, will enable new embedded solutions and removable solutions that take advantage of high-performance system interfaces, including PCIe and upcoming standards such as USB 3.0."

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