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renewing the spin on MRAM's bright future

Editor:- December 18, 2014 - Everspin Technologies said at a recent event they have shipped over 40 million MRAM devices.

That's one of several interesting observations on the state of the MRAM and RRAM market contained in a new blog - Making Computers that Don't Forget - by Tom Coughlin, President - Coughlin Associates - who predicts that the market for MRAM devices may exceed $2 billion by 2019. ...read the article


Cypress merges with Spansion

Editor:- December 1, 2014 - Cypress Semiconductor and Spansion today announced a definitive agreement to merge in an all-stock, tax-free transaction valued at approximately $4 billion.

"...Our combined company will be a leading provider of embedded MCUs and specialized memories" said T. J. Rodgers, Cypress's founding president and CEO.


SSDs are made of this

Editor:- October 14, 2014 - Without memory - there would be no SSDs.

And while naturally the emphasis in SSD thinking is mostly on - how can we do useful and affordable things with SSDs? - despite how terribly flawed the raw material is which we have to work with (which leads you to architecture, controllers, data integroty and software) - it can nevertheless be strategically useful for SSD specifiers to sometimes brace themselves for a deep dive down into the cold details of how much better (or worse) those raw memory characteristics are going to get - so you can anticipate future developments.

This week the best place to look is MemCon.

Here's the agenda page.


We need new software abstractions to efficiently handle all the different emerging flavors of persistent enterprise memory - says SanDisk

Editor:- October 3, 2014 - New enterprise software abstractions are needed in order to efficiently utilize all those unruly developments in flash, tiered flash-DRAM architecture and NVDIMMs.

And laying the educational framework for those ideas - along with some practical suggestions for where applicable solutions might be coming from - is the theme of a recent blog - the Emergence of Software-Defined Memory - written by Nisha Talagala, Fellow at SanDisk & Fusion-io - who (among other things) says:-

"We're seeing excitement build for a new class of memory:- persistent memory - which has the persistence capabilities of storage and access performance similar to memory.

"Given this richness of media technologies, we now have the ability to create systems and data center solutions which combine a variety of memory types to accelerate applications, reduce power, improve server consolidation, and more.

"We believe these trends will drive a new set of software abstractions for these systems which will emerge as software-defined memory – a software driven approach to optimizing memory of all types in the data center." ...read the article

See also:- are you ready to rethink enterprise DRAM architecture?


Micron's enterprise SSD revenue grew 79% QOQ

Editor:- September 25, 2014 - In its Q4 earning conference call today Micron said that about 66% to 75% of its nand flash had gone into client SSDs - with the remainder being enterprise. However Micron also said its enterprise SSD revenue was up 79% quarter-on-quarter. ...full transcript on SeekingAlpha.com


STT-MRAM? - update report

Editor:- July 18, 2014 - IEEE Spectrum today published an interesting state of the art article about spin-transfer-torque MRAM - Spin Memory Shows its Might.

Among other things the article's author - Rachel Courtland Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Spectrum Magazine - says "STT-MRAM may be claiming some of the enthusiasm once reserved for other alternative memories, such as ferroelectric RAM, phase-change memory, and resistive RAM. But its success will come down to manufacturing technology and how well it can compete on cost." ...read the article


SanDisk and Toshiba collaborate on 3D nand fab

Editor:- May 13, 2014 - SanDisk and Toshiba today announced that they have begun work on demolishing and converting a 2D NAND fab at Yokkaichi Operations, in Mie prefecture, Japan over to 3D capability with a view to enabling 3D output in 2016.


Samsung starts 3D nand production at new fab in China

Editor:- May 9, 2014 - Samsung announced that its new memory fabrication line in Xi'an China - which will make 3D V-NAND - has begun full-scale manufacturing operations.

50% of global NAND flash is made or processed in China.


I just wanted solid-state memory at a cost per bit as low as a CD-ROM or a DVD - said Contour Semiconductor's founder - whose company yesterday named a new CEO

Editor:- April 23, 2014 - Contour Semiconductor is a new (long time in development) company which I only learned about this week via a couple of my linkedin contacts.

You might want to learn more about them too.

Why's that?

"Contour's new chip technology has the potential to be every bit as disruptive to the solid state flash market as flash was to hard disks drives" says Saul Zales who was named Contour's new CEO in a press release yesterday.

Saul Zales is well qualified to judge those markets - as his background includes flash or SSD related business development at some well known SSD companies - namely Fusion-io and Intel.


some observations about the long term future for industrial flash

Editor:- March 17, 2014 - Trying to make sense of the changing patterns of memory usage in SSDs and guessing which way things are likely to go - is something which all SSD designers and specifiers think about. But because of the unusually long timescales for compatible product availability in the embedded industrial markets - which start at 7 years typical in-service life - added to the extended temperature operating range (compared to other markets) means that the the game of "guess what flash memory will still be availabile roadmap" is different in character.

I was fortunate to get a personal view on the long term SLC and MLC questions - as they relate to the industrial market - from one of the most experienced people in this industry - Dave Merry - whose SSD career (as VP of Engineering, CTO or cofounder) has spanned some of SSD history's best known industrial SSD companies - SiliconTech (which later became SimpleTech and then STEC), SMART Modular and SiliconSystems. It was in a recent conversation with Dave at his present company - FMJ Storage that I got to ask these questions.

re SLC

Zsolt - How long do you think will SLC continue to be available?

Dave - Micron has said it will continue to provide SLC for some government projects for 15 to 20 years.

Zsolt - I didn't know that.

re MLC

Zsolt - Wer're seeing a lot of complicated controller technologies being used to make MLC usable and improve endurance. How do you see MLC going?

Dave - We have to keep abreast of all technologies - and have had early access to 3D-nand. Our characterization suggests that the endurance of 3D nand is 3x to 4x better than MLC (at similar line widths). So that makes 3D a good place to look at for a long term MLC industrial roadmap. But it's too early to know if the 3D layout and architecture itself might have its own (currently unknown) new failure mechanisms or R/W disturbance sensitivities - which would require new firmware techniques.

Editor's comments:- Our conversation about the SSD market lasted 2 hours. I'll be writing more about it in another article.


3D NAND flash challenges - an industry roundtable discussion

Editor:- February 6, 2014 - The best article I've yet seen about the practical implications of increasing the adoption of 3D NAND flash is - Experts At The Table: Commercial potential and production challenges for 3D NAND memory technology published by Semiconductor Manufacturing and Design.

Among the many practical considerations discussed in this article was the question of - "how is the semi industry preparing for the transition to 3D memory?"

On the issue of scalability limits and market pacing - the article reveals that vertical scalability currently appears feasible in roadmaps upto about 100 cell stack layers.

But the rate of 2D shrinks in successive 3D designs will slow down from the recent historic average of 20% per generation to 5% - due to the problems of registration which accumulate up as you add more layers. ...read the article


new technology report - How 3D NAND flash Stacks Up

Editor:- January 15, 2014 - "In the 2D planar era, the basic underlying floating gate technology (with a few exceptions) was essentially the same amongst all the NAND flash manufacturers, however in the 3D era (which has recently begun) all NAND flash memory manufacturers are developing different 3D architectures" said Gregory Wong, President, Forward Insights in a recent email introducing a new market report ($5,499) called How 3D NAND Stacks Up (outline pdf) - which is co-authored with NaMLab (Nano-electronic Materials Laboratory) - in Dresden, Germany.

The new report describes the various different approaches to 3D NAND design and provides an independent view of the technical challenges which memory vendors have to solve to deliver viable competing memories at different geometries.


Half Micron's nand flash now used in SSDs

Editor:- January 7, 2014 - In a conference call related to financial results reported for the quarter ended November 28, 2013 - which headlined on improved DRAM results - Micron said:-
  • its nand flash business surpassed $1 billion revenue for the 1st time
  • SSDs accounted for 48% of trade volume in nand flash (of which 2/3 was consumer SSDs)
  • in addition to traditional demand from the mobile market (phones etc)- the company had identified industrial embedded applications in automotive markets as a business opportunity which itself was taking around 10% of flash volume
  • the big volume ramp for 3d nand flash was anticipated to be in the 2nd half of 2015



Crocus petitions for dismissal of core STT patents

Editor:- October 30, 2013 - Within the SSD market all those other types of of non volatile memory appear as mere driblets compared to a sea of flash memory - but that could change one day so it's worthwhile cementing sound patent foundations.

"We already done that thing" - aka "prior art" - is the root of a petition (announced yesterday) by Crocus Technology for the US Patent and Trademark Office to dismiss patent 6,980,469 (high speed low power magnetic memory device stuff) which is part of the IP potfolio of competitor - Spin Transfer Technologies.


by 2017 most flash will be 3D - says iSuppli

Editor:- October 4, 2013 - In a market forecast yesterday IHS iSuppli said - "by 2017 65% of all NAND flash memory chips shipped worldwide will be produced using 3-D manufacturing processes, up from less than 1% this year."

Editor's comments:- the transition towards a new way of making flash memory (by vertical stacking of deposition layers at the chip level) currently looks like a more viable way of increasing flash densities in the long term - compared to shrinking the geometry of cells - which is already straining the ingenuity of circuit designers to counteract and manage the impact of intrinsic defects in the materials which become more significant as the stored charge for each virtual data bit gets smaller.

Some aspects of this trend toward shrinking 2D (aka planar) geometry - at the SSD level - manifest as worsening raw metrics such as - endurance, remanence, reliability and data integrity.

See also:- market research directory, Can you trust SSD market data?


Samsung offers 1st generation 3D nand flash SSDs for enterprise

Editor:- August 13, 2013 - Samsung today announced it has started production of 2.5" SATA SSDs aimed at the enterprise market - which use the company's new 128Gb 3D Vertical NAND flash memories. Samsung says its 3D flash is intrinsically more reliable, faster and uses less power than traditional 2D flash at the same (10nm class) line geometries.

Editor's comments:- As SSDs - and compared spec by spec to any other SSDs - the new V-NAND SSDs aren't remarkable - 960GB capacity and 35K write endurance - which is what the market (in this case - cloud storage array makers want).

But Samsung's new V-NAND SSDs are simply the first step in the journey towards characterizing this new technology and to achieve customer acceptance.

Samsung says its 3D technology could deliver upto 24 cell layers vertically, using special etching technology that connects the layers electronically by punching holes from the highest layer to the bottom.

When that happens - each wafer will be able to deliver an order of magnitude more storage capacity from the same number of wafer starts - using the same line resolution as traditional (planar) flash cells. (If you think about the difference it made when the market went from SLC to MLC and then again to TLC - the eventual market impact will be bigger than all those combined.) But getting the chips and production equipment proven and economic for double digit 3D cells will take years from where we are now.

Adding each vertical layer takes additional processing time. In some ways it's like adding more layers to your pizza - except that - the successive layers of topping have to match up very precisely. (Around 2,000x more precisely than the state of the art in metal additive technology - to give you an idea of the difficulty and the elapsed time element.)


Crossbar has silicon for 3D RRAM

Editor:- August 5, 2013 - Crossbar today emerged from stealth by announcing a working silicon demonstration of its 3D stacking technology which the company says will enable the commercial use of RRAM in much higher capacity drives than before.


Micron samples 16nm nand

Editor:- July 16, 2013 - Micron today announced it will be in full production of 16nm nand flash (128Gb MLC memory devices) in Q4 this year - and is designing SSDs around this process geometry - to ship in 2014.


Crocus gets funding for x8 multibit magnetic semiconductor memory

Editor:- April 8, 2013 - Crocus Technology today announced it has been awarded a contract from IARPA to develop an 8-bit per cell memory based on its Magnetic Logic Unit technology.

This will greatly reduce the energy consumed per written-bit compared to any other memory technology, including DRAM, Flash, SRAM and MRAM.

Douglas Lee, VP, product development at Crocus compared the 8 bits per cell which the company thinks it can get from its MLU technology with the state-of-the-art in nand flash - which is 3-4 bits per cell and also compared to alternative magnetic semiconductor technologies like MRAM - which is still only 1 bit per cell storage (SLC).


2017 could be 1st billion dollar year for non-flash nvm

Editor:- February 18, 2013 - Yole Developments recently published a new market report - Emerging Non-Volatile Memories (5,990 euros) which describes why and how emerging alternative NVM (FRAM, MRAM/STTMRAM, PCM, RRAM) could grow from $209 million revenue in 2012 to $2 billion in 2018.

Among other things - the report says 3D RRAM could start to be used in SSDs in 2017-2018, when 3D NAND's scalability prospects are anticipated to worsen.


Everspin quadruples MRAM chip R/W

Editor:- February 26, 2013 - Everspin Technologies today announced it will sample the first of a new family of MRAM chips in Q2.

The MR10Q010 (1Mb in a 16 pin SOIC) has a quad SPI serial interface instead of the single line interface offered in earlier MRAM devices. This makes it more attractive for applications which need the simplicity of no wear-out non volatile memory and fast write performance in low capacity and small footprint applications.


Proton gets funds to rejuvenate flash

Editor:- February 7, 2013 - Proton Digital Systems today announced the completion of its $2 million seed round to support continued development and expansion of its LDPC-based flash read channel IP products that increase the endurance and longevity of flash memory.

Proton's IP is currently licensed for enterprise and consumer applications and has already been adopted by some of the world's largest flash memory companies.

See also:- adaptive R/W and DSP IP in SSDs, SSD controllers, how to market flash management care schemes for SSDs


1/3 of Micron's nand flash trade sales go into SSDs

Editor:- December 20, 2012 - Micron today announced that revenues from sales of its NAND flash products were 4% lower in the quarter ended November 29, 2012 than they had been a year ago.

Sales volume of the company's nand flash decreased by 9% - but average selling prices increased 5%. Overall Micrion reported a net loss in the quarter of $275 million on sales of $1.8 billion.

In a conference call Micron said that SSD shipments had grown 20% compared to the previous quarter. SSDs are 17% of Micron's nand business and the company estimates that 35% of the nand flash it supplies to trade customers end up in SSDs. MLC was about 80% to 85% of nand flash wafer production with SLC and TLC making up the rest.


experimental technique eliminates flash endurance limit

Editor:- December 2, 2012 - An article in IEEE Spectrum - Flash Memory Survives 100 Million Cycles - summarizes a recent research paper by Macronix - which described an experimental technique to redesign flash cells to improve endurance.

The technique - which StorageSearch.com does not think is feasible to scale for commercially competitive memory densities - involves designing addressable heaters in the memory array which can pulse upto 800 degrees C for a few milliseconds. This thermal "refreshing cycle" anneals the chip material and heals common wear-out defects while also enabling the cells to be run faster.

"Afterward, we realized that there was no new physics principle invented here, and we could have done this 10 years ago" said Hang-Ting Lue, the project director at Macronix


Micron in volume production of 1Gb PCM

Editor:- July 18, 2012 - Micron today announced it was the 1st company to be in volume production of Phase Change Memory (PCM).

The company's 45nm memories have upto 1Gb in a multichip package.

Editor's comments:- PCM fans will get excited about this.

But before we get carried away on a tidal wave of PCM SSD speculation let's recall the reason we still use flash to implement the bulk storage capacity in nearly all SSDs (despite flash's many defects and complex ramifications).

It's economics.

PCM can be viable as an alternative to battery backed RAM in the cache part of a flash SSD. Some SSD oems have already done that. But PCM's storage density is too low to replace flash in mainstream SSD applications for at least the next 3 years.

You can read more about various nvm technologies which were going to make flash obsolete (including details of the 1st PCM PCIe SSD which was unveiled a year ago) in my article flash SSD's past phantom demons


Hynix acquires DSP SSD IP company LAMD

Editor:- June 20, 2012 -SK Hynix today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire California-based storage solution company Link_A_Media Devices.

The reason for the acquisition should be clear if you read the article on my home page yesterday about the new generations of adaptive SSD controllers. The roadmap for flash memory is dependent on these technologies to enable workable SSDs.


TrendFocus launches new memories in SSDs report

Editor:- May 2, 2012 - have you ever wondered what percentage of a memory maker's SSD output is SLC or MLC or TLC? and other things like that?

TrendFocus has launched a new NAND/SSD Information Service which includes that kind of data. The company says that the SSD section of the report will include client and enterprise SSD memory shipments and forecasts.


new nv market size report from Web-Feet

Editor:- April 13, 2012 - Web-Feet Research has consolidated the reported shipments from 17 main flash makers to conclude that the flash memory market in 2011 was worth nearly $29 billion - an increase of 8% from 2010.

Web-Feet's market report - the 2011 Non Volatile Memory Market Shares by Vendor report ($2,500) includes market shares by vendor for total nv memory (all types) and includes breakdowns by vendor and forecasts. For more info contact:- Alan Niebel - alan.niebel@web-feetresearch.com


STT secures $36 million A round for OST-MRAM

Editor:- February 15, 2012 - Spin Transfer Technologies today announced it has secured $36 million in Series A funding - led by its parent company, Allied Minds and Invesco Asset Management - to accelerate development of STT's patented orthogonal spin transfer magneto resistive random access memory technology (OST-MRAM).

STT says "the company is poised to create the next generation of memory applications combining the non-volatility of flash with the read and write performance of DRAM and SRAM into one, seamless product."


Rambus gets into the nv memory IP market

Editor:- February 6, 2012 -Rambus today announced it has acquired Unity Semiconductor for an aggregate of $35 million in cash.

As part of this acquisition, the Unity team members have joined Rambus to continue developing innovations and solutions for next-generation non-volatile memory.


world's first PCIe PCM SSD

Editor:- June 14, 2011 - NVSL ( the Non-Volatile Systems Lab at UCSD) recently demonstrated a prototype PCIe PCM (phase-change memory) SSD - with R/W speeds upto 1.1GB/s and 327MB/s respectively and 8GB usable capacity.

A spokesperson for the Moneta SSD design team - Professor Steven Swanson said "...Moneta gives us a window into the future of what computer storage systems are going to look like, and gives us the opportunity now to rethink how we design computer systems in response."

Swanson says he hopes to build the 2nd generation of the Moneta storage device in the next 6 to 9 months and says the technology could be ready for market in just a few years as the underlying phase-change memory technology improves.

Editor's comments:- in a white paper Protoype PCM Storage Array (pdf) the team outlines the design and architecture of their PCM SSD prototype and also compares aspects of performance with entry level PCIe flash SSDs from Fusion-io. In a recent article I warned that you should not pay too much heed to comparative PCIe SSD benchmarks - because from different arbitrary selected angles they can "prove" different arbitrary performance rankings. I wouldn't be surprised if some investors take fright that a PCM SSD scored higher than a Fusion-io SSD in some of the published graphs. But for those who understand SSD architecture it doesn't reveal anything new.

In my view this prototype clearly demonstrates the strengths and weaknesses of PCM as an SSD technology.

PCM SSD strengths vs flash

The granularity of writes in PCM is smaller and faster - which means that small R/W operations have higher IOPS. If you have apps where that is important you can simply buy SSDs with various ratios of integrated RAM cache. That would give you small block IOPS better than PCM - end of story. PCM has higher endurance than SLC - which means that the SSD controller overhead applied to endurance can be lighter than in most flash systems. Hence potentially faster latency through to the media.

PCM SSD weaknesses vs flash

The prototype PCIe SSD card provides capacity which is similar to RAM SSD density - but with a large block R/W throughput which is much lower than flash arrays. This implementation used 16MB PCM chips.

Flash allows higher capacity writes to a single chip - and this gives better peak performance results than PCM when exploited in parallel architecture arrays. You can't get those flash peak performance numbers from a PCM array in the same board footrpint - because many PCM chips have to be written to concurrently to achieve the same capacity R/W as a single flash chip. That means with today's technologies - flash SSDs have a higher proportion of ready to write memory chips in the same chip count population as PCM SSDs.

For more about alternative SSD technologies - see SSD's past phantoms.


SANBlaze ships PCIe to 1.8" SSD RAID adapter

June 13, 2011 - SANBlaze Technology is shipping a new rear transition module which connects upto 8x 1.8" SSDs to PCIe with RAID options.


new report looks at NAND flash succession

Editor:- January 11, 2011 - Forward Insights and its research collaborators have compiled an in-depth, independent analysis which analyzes the options for various non volatile memory technologies which could become viable in storage after floating gate NAND flash hits fundamental scaling limitations

What's after NAND? (pdf outline) is the product of experts in floating gate and charge trap flash, and resistive and emerging memory technologies. This new report (price $10k) evaluates 3D NAND and cross point memory concepts from Hynix, Intel, Macronix, Micron, Samsung, SanDisk, Toshiba and Unity and concludes with a roadmap till the end of the decade.


Toshiba integrates ECC into raw flash

Editor:- April 5, 2011 - Toshiba announced it is sampling SmartNAND - 24nm flash memory chips (with upto 64GB capacity) with integrated ECC controllers to simplify the design of consumer products which need storage.

"Toshiba's new SmartNAND will provide our customers a smoother design experience into 24nm generation and beyond," said Scott Nelson, VP, Memory Business Unit, Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. "By enabling the system designer to directly manage the NAND using a standard or custom host NAND controller, while leaving the function of error correction within the NAND package, SmartNAND results in faster time to market, access to leading geometries and potentially lowers design costs when compared to conventional NAND flash implementations with external ECC."


will Micron's enhanced flash really eliminate error concerns?

Editor:- December 3, 2010 - Micron recently announced availability of enhanced 16GB to 64GB 25nm MLC flash memory chips with integrated error management - which the company says - removes the burden of ECC from the host and simplifies the use of flash in enterpise apps.

Editor's comments:- as discussed in my recent article - bad block management in flash SSDs good blocks and less good blocks have always coexisted in flash memory. But as device geometries shrink (to increase capacity and speed) the margin of error between usable and non usable cells has shrunk too. In practical terms this means that the raw media quaility of new flash chips has declined in the past decade from under 1% defects, then 2%, 5% and I've seen projections as high as 10% for emerging MLC. read longer version of comments


new book - Inside NAND Flash

Editor:- November 17, 2010 - Forward Insights (an SSD analyst company) is one of the contributers to a new book called - Inside NAND Flash Memories.

The publishers say that SSD designers must understand flash technology in order to exploit its benefits and countermeasure its weaknesses. The new book is a comprehensive guide to the NAND world - from circuits design (analog and digital) to reliability.


Web-Feet reports on Storage Class Memories

Editor:- October 18, 2010 - Web-Feet Research has just released its latest technology assessment report on Flash Memory, DRAM and the rise of alternative Non Volatile Memories and Storage Class Memories in - MTS650FT-2010 (summary pdf) - price $7,500.

This new report evaluates the most promising SCM memories: PCM, STT-RAM, MRAM, Z-RAM, ReRAM, CBRAM, QsRAM, and FeRAM. The manufacturability of SCM storage is evaluated for: CMOx, PCM-S, RRAM-S, 3D NAND and some claims that SST-MRAM can fulfill the storage function.


new Samsung phone flash

Editor:- September 7, 2010 - Samsung Electronics today introduced high-performance 16GB e-MMC 4.41 compatible moviNAND embedded memory chips for use in smartphones.

A new feature enables the host to interrupt a previously written write so as to respond sooner to a higher priority read.


SSD readers intro to Nanocrystal Memories

Editor:- June 30, 2010 - a recent blog from Denali Software describes the characteristics of nanocrystal memories - a flash-like nv memory technology from Freescale Semiconductor.

This comparison table on Freescale's web site suggests 10x faster write cycle - and upto 30x endurance (10 million cycles) than traditional flash. The technology is shipping in some embedded microprocessors.


Macronix research pushes flash density

Editor:- June 16, 2010 - Macronix today announced its research results related to its patented BE SONOS (barrier engineering) charge-trapping technology which could make terabit NAND flash feasible.

Using 3D stacking, NAND Flash may achieve higher data storage capacity and effectively lower fabrication cost without relying on advances in lithography technology. Consequently some memory manufacturers have invested in 3D research recently.


Samsung ships 512Mb PRAM

Editor:- April 28, 2010 - Samsung Electronics today announced shipments of a 512Mb PRAM MCP which is is backwards compatible with 40nm NOR flash memory in both its hardware and software functionality allowing mobile handset designers the convenience of retrofitting the 3x faster writing PRAM into exisiting designs based on NOR.


Everspin samples industry's first 16Mb MRAM

Editor:- April 19, 2010 - Everspin Technologies announced it is sampling a 16Mb MRAM.

The MR4A16B is a 3.3-volt, parallel I/O non-volatile RAM that features 35ns access times with unlimited read/write cycles. Data is always non-volatile after each write for more than 20 years. In addition, MRAM is immune to soft error rates associated with cosmic rays that impact other memories. The 16Mb MRAM is organized as 1,048,576 words of 16 bits. Pin and function-compatible with asynchronous SRAM, the MR4A16B targets industrial automation, robotics, network and data storage, multi-function printers and a host of other systems traditionally limited to SRAM-based designs.
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"2015 will be a critical period for NAND Flash manufacturers as they try to slow capacity expansion."
Sean Yang, Assistant VP - DRAMeXchange in his blog NAND Flash Industry Value Poised to Grow More than 10% in 2015 (December 4, 2014)
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"One petabyte of enterprise SSD could replace 10 to 50 petabytes of raw HDD storage in the enterprise - and still enable all the apps to run faster."
meet Ken and the SSD software event horizon
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Flash Memory Summit - event logo

FMS 2014 may be over - but now's the time you can find out in detail what it was all about. The conference proceedings page includes links and summaries for hundreds of pdfs / papers related to flash, nvm and SSD technologies.
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related guides
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"If these new memories really are as good as the claims, why are we not seeing them in production applications today? The answer appears to be inertia" - says Brian Bailey, Technology Editor - Semiconductor Engineering

Dave Lazovsky, CEO of Intermolecular expands on this by saying - NAND flash is a $30B industry that has tens of billions of dollars in capital infrastructure that would need to be retooled. The big 4 players represent 95% of the market and they have a lot of existing investment. The entire cost equation is CapEx, so they need to milk the tail of the revenues as long as they can."
Big Memory Shift Ahead (May 2014)
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"The most significant change over the past 10 years is the growth of NAND flash wafer demand.

NAND wasn't even reported as a discrete category by the SIA in 2000.

In 2005, all NAND products only required 4.4% of total production wafers...

this had grown to almost 18% in 2012."
Joanne Itow, Managing Director
Semico Research (October 2012)
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In the quarter ended November 28, 2013 - Micron said that about 50% of its nand flash memory bits went into SSDs.
the Top SSD Companies - Q4 2013
February 4, 2014
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"....nobody really knows how long NAND can keep scaling. So we have to keep trying and we have to be innovative. But we are aggressively working on the future NAND, future technologies beyond NAND...."
Ritu Shrivastava
V.P., Technology Development SanDisk
SanDisk technology roadmap presentation (April 2012)
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10+ years of "MRAM will soon replace flash"
The emerging size of the flash SSD market as you see it today was by no means inevitable.

It owes a lot to 3 competing storage media competitors which failed to evolve fast enough in the Darwinian jungle of the storage market.
SSD past phantom demons image - click to read the article The article - SSD's past phantom demons explores the latent market threats which hovered around the flash SSD market in the past 10 years. They seemed real and solid enough at the time.
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Surviving SSD sudden power loss
Why should you care what happens in an SSD when the power goes down?

This important design feature - which barely rates a mention in most SSD datasheets and press releases - has a strong impact on SSD data integrity and operational reliability.

This article which reviews the architecture of power line disturbance data integrity mitigation schemes in every major type of SSD will help you understand why some SSDs which (work perfectly well in one type of application) might fail in others... even when the changes in the operational environment appear to be negligible.
image shows Megabyte's hot air balloon - click to read the article SSD power down architectures and acharacteristics If you thought endurance was the end of the SSD reliability story - think again. ...read the article
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