News Posts matching "NAND flash"

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SSD Price War on the Cards

The consumer SSD market could witness a price-war, with leading manufacturers spooling up production, according to industry sources. NAND flash chip supplier Micron Technology reportedly reduced supplies of its chips to other manufacturers, in a possible bid to increase production of consumer SSDs bearing its own channel brand, Crucial Memory. The company plans to double shipments of Crucial-branded SSDs quarter-over-quarter. Elsewhere, Kingston Digital ramped up SSD shipments to 600,000 units a month, to step up competition against SanDisk and Samsung.

SSD makers are likely to take advantage of the entry of M.2 standard in the consumer space, with the introduction of Intel's 9-series chipset. M.2 offers 10 Gb/s of interface bandwidth (physical layer PCI-Express 2.0 x2), and some non-standard implementations are wired to offer even 20 Gb/s (physical layer PCI-Express 2.0 x4). M.2 slots feature SATA 6 Gb/s wiring in some onboard implementations, which could pave the way for M.2 replacing 2.5-inch SATA as the highest selling SSD form-factor, in the near future.


Source: DigiTimes

Updated Intel Roadmap Reveals SSD 750 Series, M.2 Push by Company

Alongside an updated desktop CPU roadmap, Intel posted an updated consumer SSD roadmap at its 3D Revolution 2014 presentation in Rome. It reveals the company's next-generation consumer SSD series, codenamed "August Ridge," and branded SSD 750 series. Targeting both the "consumer" and "professional" (≠ enterprise) market segments, the SSD 750 series comes in three form-factors, 2.5-inch SATA 6 Gb/s, mSATA 6 Gb/s, and M.2 (likely PCIe 2.0 x2 link layer). The series will sell in most popular sub-terabyte capacities, and will be based on the company's 20 nm MLC NAND flash. We have no reason to believe Intel will discontinue using SandForce-made processors in its consumer SSDs. Intel's SSD 750 series "August Ridge" is slated for Q4-2014.

GeIL Shows off ZENITH Line of High-Performance SSDs

GeIL stepped into the modern SSD scene with its ZENITH line of SSDs. The series consists of two models, the performance-focused ZENITH S3, and the value-focused ZENITH A3. Both are built in the 7 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor, with SATA 6 Gb/s interface, and both come in capacities of 60 GB, 120 GB, 240 GB, and 480 GB. Both appear to be powered by Seagate-SandForce controllers, and MLC NAND flash memory. The ZENITH A3 offers sequential transfer rates of up to 540 MB/s reads, with up to 300 MB/s writes; while the ZENITH S3 offers up to 550 MB/s reads, with up to 500 MB/s writes.

Samsung Starts Mass Producing Industry's First 32-Layer 3D V-NAND Flash Memory

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has begun mass producing the industry's first three-dimensional (3D) V-NAND flash memory using 32 vertically stacked cell layers, which is its second generation V-NAND offering. Samsung's 32-layer 3D V-NAND - also referred to as Vertical NAND - requires a higher level of design technology to stack the cell arrays than the previous 24-layer V-NAND, yet delivers much greater production efficiency because Samsung can use essentially the same equipment it used for production of the first generation V-NAND.

In addition, Samsung has just launched a line-up of premium SSDs based on its 2nd generation V-NAND flash memory with 128 gigabyte (GB), 256GB, 512GB and 1TB storage options. After introducing 3D V-NAND-based SSDs to data centers last year, Samsung is now extending its V-NAND SSD line-up to high-end PC applications, in expanding its market base. "We increased the availability of our 3D V-NAND by introducing an extensive V-NAND SSD line-up that covers the PC market in addition to data centers," said Young-Hyun Jun, executive vice president, memory sales and marketing, Samsung Electronics. "Look for us to provide a consistent, timely supply of high-performance, high-density V-NAND SSDs as well as core V-NAND chips for IT customers globally, contributing to fast market adoption of 3D NAND technology."

Marvell Announces New PCIe SSD Controller Supporting SATA Express

Marvell today announced the launch of its new 88SS1083 PCI Express (PCIe) solid state drive (SSD) controller -a two-lane PCIe Gen2 SSD controller. With performance transfer rates up to 1 GB/s, Marvell's 88SS1083 controller allows SSD manufacturers to offer PCIe SSD at price parity to SATA SSD. The Marvell 88SS1083 is the industry's first controller to be fully compliant with the SATA Express standard, which leverages the most popular PCIe interface and brings in low latency, dual-lane support and 1 GB/s data transfer rate.

The new 88SS1083 controller also supports Separate RefClock with Independent SSC (SRIS), a critical feature as it eliminates the need for an expensive shielded cable for minimizing noise and instead allows for a cost-effective SATA Express cable. SATA Express host can connect either high-performance SATA Express SSDs or traditional SATA devices at similar accessory costs.

"Improving performance while maintaining low power becomes more important than ever, especially for today's ultrathin notebooks and tablets," said Rajan Pai, Vice President, Sales and Field Applications Engineering at Marvell. "The new 88SS1083 allows SSD OEMs to offer higher performance, PCIe-based SSD solutions at similar prices to SATA and is quickly becoming the controller of choice for global OEMs. Marvell is proudly pioneering a new generation of high-performance and low-power silicon solutions that is driving our industry forward."

Toshiba to Replace Fab 2 at Yokkaichi Japan for Transition to 3D NAND Technology

Toshiba Corporation today announced that it will demolish the No. 2 semiconductor fabrication facility (Fab 2) at Yokkaichi Operations, the company's NAND Flash memory plant in Mie prefecture, Japan, and replace it with a new fab on the same site. Toshiba also entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding with SanDisk Corporation to invest jointly in the new facility. The primary purpose of the new wafer fab is to secure space for converting existing Toshiba and SanDisk 2D NAND capacity to 3D NAND beginning in 2016.

Demolition work on the current Fab 2 will start in May with construction beginning in September 2014, with a target completion date of Summer 2015. The clean room within the new fab will be built in phases to align the clean room investment with the timing of conversion of 2D NAND capacity to 3D NAND. Construction of the initial cleanroom will be complete in time for 2016 output. Decisions on capacity conversion ramp and equipment investment, the start of production, and production levels in the new fab will reflect market trends.

Samsung Announces Operation of Memory Facility in Xi'an, China

Samsung Electronics, Co., Ltd., a global leader in memory semiconductor technology, today announced that its memory fabrication line in Xi'an China has begun full-scale manufacturing operations. The new facility will manufacture Samsung's advanced NAND flash memory chips: 3D V-NAND. Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman and CEO Dr. Oh-Hyun Kwon hosted a plant inauguration event, which welcomed a large number of attendees including government dignitaries such as Zhao Zhengyong, Secretary of Communist Party of China Committee of Shaanxi province, Lou Qinjian, Governor of Shaanxi province, and Young-se Kwon, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the People's Republic of China. Other honored attendees included Samsung suppliers and customers.

Construction of the new manufacturing facility took only 20 months since Samsung broke ground here in September, 2012. The total area of the facility is approximately 230,000 square meters, situated on 1.14 million square meters of land. In remarks delivered during the ceremony, Dr. Kwon said, "The city of Xi'an was the starting point of the Silk Road, which had performed a key role in bridging cultures from the East and the West. We expect that our new facility in Xi'an - the fruit of close cooperation with China, will mark the crowning of a 21st century Silk Road."

Samsung Begins Mass Production of Industry's First Enterprise 3-bit NAND SSD

Samsung Electronics, Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, said today that it has begun mass producing the industry's first high-performance, three-bit-NAND-based SSD for servers and data centers. The new SSD will allow data centers to better manage workloads related to social networking, web browsing and email, and enhance operation efficiency. Installations of the 3-bit MLC (multi-level-cell) NAND SSDs, initially in large-scale data centers, are expected to begin later this quarter.

"Following the last year's introduction of 3-bit NAND-based SSDs for PC markets, our new 3-bit SSD for data centers will help considerably in expanding the market base for SSDs," said Young-Hyun Jun, executive vice president, memory sales and marketing, Samsung Electronics. "We expect SSD market growth will gain momentum as this new SSD delivers significant improvements in data center investment efficiency, leading to full-fledged commercialization of SSDs in IT systems later this year."

SanDisk Announces 15 Nanometer Technology

SanDisk Corporation, a global leader in flash storage solutions, today announced the availability of its 1Z-nanometer (nm) technology, the most advanced NAND flash process node in the world. The 15 nm technology will ramp on both two bits-per-cell (X2) and three bits-per-cell (X3) NAND flash memory architectures with production ramp to begin in the second half of 2014.

"We are thrilled to continue our technology leadership with the industry's most advanced flash memory process node, enabling us to deliver the world's smallest and most cost effective 128 gigabit chips," said Dr. Siva Sivaram, senior vice president, memory technology, SanDisk. "We are delighted that these new chips will allow us to further differentiate and expand our portfolio of NAND flash solutions."

Toshiba Starts Mass Production of World's First 15 nm NAND Flash Memory

Toshiba Corporation today announced that it has developed the world's first 15-nanometer (nm) process technology, which will apply to 2-bit-per-cell 128-gigabit (16 gigabytes) NAND flash memories. Mass production with the new technology will start at the end of April at Fab 5 Yokkaichi Operations, Toshiba's NAND flash fabrication facility (fab), replacing second generation 19 nm process technology, Toshiba's previous flagship process. The second stage of Fab 5 is currently under construction, and the new technology will also be deployed there.

Toshiba has achieved the world's smallest class chip size with the 15nm process plus improved peripheral circuitry technology. The new chips achieve the same write speed as chips formed with second generation 19 nm process technology, but boost the data transfer rate to 533 megabits a second, 1.3 times faster, by employing a high speed interface.

Crucial Announces the M550 Series SSDs

Crucial announced its M550 series of performance SSDs, succeeding its existing M500 series. Built in 7 mm-thick 2.5-inch SATA, mSATA, and M.2 form-factors, the M550 series offers higher sequential transfer rates, and comes in higher capacities near existing price-points, over its predecessor. It also introduces a handful new features, such as NWA (native write acceleration), RAIN (redundant array of independent NAND), adaptive thermal protection (ATP), and hardware encryption. The drives appear to be based on a Marvell-made controller platform, with Micron-made MLC NAND flash. The mSATA 6 Gb/s and M.2 models come in capacities of 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB; while the 2.5-inch SATA 6 Gb/s models include 1 TB capacity. The drives offer sequential reads as high as 550 MB/s, with up to 500 MB/s of sequential writes. They're backed by 3-year warranties, and should eventually replace the M500 series from their existing price points.

OCZ Storage Solutions Launches New Z-Drive 4500 PCIe SSD with WXL Software

OCZ Storage Solutions - a Toshiba Group Company and leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today announced the introduction of the enterprise-class Z-Drive 4500 PCI Express (PCIe) SSD Series. The new Z-Drive 4500 Series delivers even higher performance in comparison to OCZ's Z-Drive R4 Series, leverages 19 nanometer (nm) MLC NAND flash, and features a more robust architectural design covering 800GB, 1.6TB and 3.2TB usable capacities.

Each model within the Z-Drive 4500 Series is integrated with OCZ's new Windows Accelerator (WXL) Software -- a flash management and caching solution for Microsoft Windows Server applications also announced by the Company today. WXL Software enables IT managers to deliver low-latency flash deployable as a local flash volume, a flash cache for HDD volumes or as a combination of both.

Intel "Fultondale" and "Pleasantdale" SSDs Not Very Pleasant with Thermals

As SSDs play catch-up with HDDs on the capacity front, the focus will shift to NAND flash memory designers increasing transistor densities using newer silicon fabrication technologies. In the absence of that, SSD designers will have to cram more number of NAND flash chips to achieve desired high capacities. That throws up two key issues with having too many chips in one place - heat and power. Intel is gearing up to deal with heat on its upcoming "Fultondale" and "Pleasantdale" SSDs for data-centers. Leaked company documents seen by VR-Zone reveal renders of what Intel expects the drives to look like.

Built in the 3.5-inch form-factor the drives are built almost entirely of chunky metal, with a retractable top lid, and its body. The body doubles up as heatsink, it features metal ridges which dissipate heat drawn from the NAND flash chips of the SSD to the air. Internally, the drive will feature at least two PCBs, one which holds the controller, cache RAM (if any), and some NAND flash chips; while the other holds NAND flash chips entirely. How hot can things get? According to the source, the drive could draw as much as 25W of power. That could amount to enough heat to warrant a passive heatsink. Intel is expected to unveil the two drives at IDF Beijing, slated for Q4-2014.

Source: VR-Zone

Toshiba Announces Slimmer 7 mm SSHD

Toshiba, a committed technology leader, announces the slim, 7mm MQ01ABF solid state hybrid drive (SSHD) series. Equipped with Toshiba's NAND flash and available in 500GB1 and 320GB capacities, the MQ01ABFH series is the first Toshiba SSHD drive family in 7 mm. The series continues Toshiba's legacy of providing world-class storage products, and offers customers a complete lineup of 2.5-inch solid state hybrid drives with the previously announced 1TB2 and 750GB MQ01ABDH series 9.5mm SSHDs for ultrathin and thin and light notebook PCs, multimedia and gaming applications, and traditional laptop PCs.

Drawing upon its knowledge and experience in NAND flash, Toshiba optimized the NAND flash performance into a tiered-storage approach that uses the speed of the DRAM and NAND components with the high-capacity of rotating media. The SSHD delivers SSD-like performance without dependence on external drivers or assistance from the host system. The PC Mark Vantage Score, the established industry method for measuring SSHD read/write performance and responsiveness, for the MQ01ABFH series is approximately 20,000, surpassing the 16,000 industry standard result.

Toshiba Announces PX02SS SSD for Write-Intensive Workloads

The Storage Products Business Unit of Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc., a committed technology leader, announces a new addition to its family of enterprise solid state drives (eSSD), the PX02SS. In capacities of up to 800GB1, the new 2.5-inch form factor SAS interface eSSD is designed for various write-intensive enterprise applications and is ideally suited for large workloads, such as data processing and online transactions.

The PX02SS features a 12 Gb/s SAS interface, and select models offer industry standard self-encrypting technology. With high transaction workloads in mind, the newest eSSD supports up to 30 full drive writes per day for all available capacity points and has a layered error correction code (ECC) approach for improved reliability. The PX02SS underscores the breadth of Toshiba's storage products, both SSDs and hard disk drives (HDDs) for mobile and enterprise markets, giving customers a "one stop shop" capability for their storage requirements.

KINGMAX Launches SME Xvalue for HDD-to-SSD Upgrade

For today's PC users, high-performance, high-quality SSDs are increasingly the preferred choice. KINGMAX, a premium memory and Flash module manufacturer that serves the world market, is proud to introduce SME 32/35, the latest additions to its SME Xvalue SSD Series. The SME SATA III2.5"SSDs make a timely debut as many must be considering a replacement or upgrade of their HDDs. For most end users, performance is hardly the ultimate determinant for choosing between the two storage devices, empirical studies show. But they know SSDs are faster than HDDs and that the former does speed up their system both during booting and in operation.

An exceptionally attractive cost-performance ratio justifies SME as a bargain. This is especially the case with those who would rather go for a partial refresh as an across-the-board upgrade of their existing old devices seems hardly warranted. Pitted against comparable HDD counterparts, it stands out with an ultra-low cost per IOPS and extraordinary operational efficiency on the same measure of power consumption.

OCZ Technology Reports Results for Its First Quarter of Fiscal 2014

OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, reports its first quarter (Q1'14) results which ended on May 31, 2013. "Revenue generated from our enterprise solutions for the first quarter more than doubled compared to the last quarter, and drove the sequential gross margin increase. Overall revenue declined about 20% sequentially, primarily due to the lack of NAND flash supply for our client SSD products," said Ralph Schmitt, CEO of OCZ Technology.

"Over the past year we have restructured the Company, which included the appointment of new leadership, reduced operating expenses, streamlined our product offerings, realigned our engineering talent, and introduced new controller silicon and firmware, new higher-end SSDs for the client market and new storage solutions for the enterprise market," added Schmitt. "Fiscal Q1 is the first quarter in which the company operated with all these particular restructuring and restatement adjustments behind us."

Super Talent Announces DuraDrive ZT3 SSD

Super Talent Technology, a leading manufacturer of NAND flash storage solutions, today announces the addition of the DuraDrive ZT3 to its DuraDrive SSD line. The entire DuraDrive series, including the ZT3, offer enhanced durability, reliability, and performance in environments that require tougher devices than a standard drive. The ZT3 has a ZIF/IDE interface and 1.8" form factor and is available in both MLC and SLC NAND Flash and capacities of 16 GB to 256 GB, which gives the a variety of options.

With the ability to withstand extreme shocks, humidity, altitude, and temperatures, the ZT3 is ideal for applications such as aerospace, the medical industry, embedded or industrial systems, and enterprise computing. This SSD is ideal for upgrading hardware with its user friendly compatibility. With ECC/EDC support, bad bit management firmware, and patented wear leveling technology, the DuraDrive ZT3 offers reliability when it comes to your data.

Massive Fire at SK Hynix Facility in Wuxi, China

A massive fire broke out this afternoon (local time), at a SK Hynix production facility in Wuxi, China. At this moment, pictures and videos of the fire are swarming through local social networks, and there are no official announcements by either the local authorities, or the company itself. Incidentally, this isn't the first fire accident at an SK Hynix manufacturing facility, a Korea-based fab suffered one in February 2008. The facility hit by fire is rumored to be one that handles packaging (placing bumped dies inside ceramic or plastic shells, and labeling them). If the extant of damage to the facility is high, it might affect NAND flash prices more than DRAM, since the company recently prioritized NAND flash over DRAM for the facility.

Source: ChipHell Forums

KingSpec 2.5 GB/s PCIe SSD Detailed

In the swarming SSD market, what better way to blast your way from obscurity to worldwide attention, than launching a ludicrously fast SSD? KingSpec unveiled the MC2J677M1T, a PCI-Express SSD that's tested to be capable of sequential speeds as high as 2.5 GB/s (gigabytes per second). Pictured below, the drive is an almost full-height add-on card with PCI-Express 2.0 x8 bus interface. The card seats a high performance SATA 6 Gb/s RAID controller by LSI (under that fan-heatsink), which is wired to eight mSATA 6 Gb/s ports, holding the eight sub-units.

The eight mSATA SSD sub-units on the MC2J677M1T each hold 120 GB of data (totaling 960 GB). Each sub-unit runs a JMicron-made controller, Intel-made MLC NAND flash, and Nanya-made DRAM cache. The LSI RAID controller is designed to be plug-and-play, i.e., the drive is bootable, and you won't need an F6 driver during Windows installation to detect the drive. A quick ATTO benchmark run by TheSSDReview, which has one of these drives, yielded sequential read speeds well past 2,500 MB/s.


Source: TheSSDReview

Intel to Demo SSD Overclocking at IDF 2013

It could soon become possible to overclock the controller and NAND flash of your SSD, if Intel has its way. The company is set to demonstrate how to overclock Intel-branded SSDs using its Xtreme Tuning Utility (XTU), at IDF 2013, which goes underway this September. The item on Intel's IDF itinerary marked "AIOS001" deals with seminars on overclocking Intel's next-generation HEDT (high-end desktop) platforms. X-bit Labs believes Intel could talk about SSD overclocking during that session.

Options to tweak SSDs were discovered when poking around the code of an unreleased XTU version. XTU is a unified software utility by Intel, which lets you tweak CPU, memory, and system cooling on systems running Intel Desktop Boards. Among the things end-users should be able to tweak, apart from the controller clock-speed, are the NAND flash bus-speed. Taking away interface overheads and other round-offs, 560 MB/s appears to be the practical maximum bandwidth SATA 6 Gb/s SSDs have been able to achieve. It could always be handy getting your SSD a few dozen more MB/s sequential speeds at the expense of stability.
Sources: MyCE, X-bit Labs

Super Talent USB 3.0 Express DRAMDisk Now Available

Super Talent Technology, a leading manufacturer of NAND flash storage solutions, today announces the availability of the long awaited USB 3.0 Express DramDisk. With sequential read scores of up to 4041 MB/s and sequential write scores of up to 5388 MB/s, the USB 3.0 Express DramDisk is a speed demon of a drive housed in a sleek aluminum casing. The USB 3.0 Express DramDisk and its unique built-in software utilizes your computer's available RAM to transfer files at an amazingly quick rate. Software is included.

This USB also transfers files while you are using the program, cutting down on wait time later. A productivity gem for creative professionals whose daily regime relies upon constantly moving files on-the-go-cutting their valued time in half.

Samsung Introduces World's First 3D V-NAND Based SSD for Enterprise Applications

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, today introduced the first solid state drive (SSD) based on its industry-leading 3D V-NAND technology. Samsung announced its new SSD, designed for use in enterprise servers and data centers, during a keynote at the Flash Memory Summit 2013 here.

"By applying our 3D V-NAND - which has overcome the formidable hurdle of scaling beyond the 10-nanometer (nm) class*, Samsung is providing its global customers with high density and exceptional reliability, as well as an over 20 percent performance increase and an over 40 percent improvement in power consumption," said E.S. Jung, executive vice president, semiconductor R&D center at Samsung Electronics and a keynote speaker at the Flash Memory Summit. "As we pioneer a new era of memory technology, we will continue to introduce differentiated green memory products and solutions for the server, mobile and PC markets to help reduce energy waste and to create greater shared value in the enterprise and for consumers."

MSI Also Rolls Out GP70 Gaming Series Notebook

In addition to the 15.6-inch GP60 Gaming Series, MSI rolled out the GP70 Gaming Series. This notebook features similar innards to the GP60, but with a larger 17.3-inch screen, which comes in 1600 x 900 and 1920 x 1080 options. Practically every other item on its specifications sheet, including a choice of Core "Haswell" processors, GeForce GT 740M graphics, up to 16 GB of RAM, hybrid drive with 24 GB NAND flash and 1 TB HDD, gaming-grade keyboard made by SteelSeries, connectivity that includes 802.11 b/g/n, gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0, etc., are identical to that of the GP60. Measuring 418 x 269.3 x 39 mm, it weighs about 2.7 kg. Prices vary by configuration.

Samsung Starts Mass Producing Industry's First 3D Vertical NAND Flash

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has begun mass producing the industry's first three-dimensional (3D) Vertical NAND (V-NAND) flash memory, which breaks through the current scaling limit for existing NAND flash technology. Achieving gains in performance and area ratio, the new 3D V-NAND will be used for a wide range of consumer electronics and enterprise applications, including embedded NAND storage and solid state drives (SSDs).

Samsung's new V-NAND offers a 128 gigabit (Gb) density in a single chip, utilizing the company's proprietary vertical cell structure based on 3D Charge Trap Flash (CTF) technology and vertical interconnect process technology to link the 3D cell array. By applying both of these technologies, Samsung's 3D V-NAND is able to provide over twice the scaling of 20nm-class planar NAND flash.
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