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Challenges in flash SSD Design
MLC flash lives longer in my
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|XLC promises "enterprise"
hybrid x4 SSDs |
Editor:- April 1, 2010 - XLC Disk announced
details of a paper it will discuss later this month at the NV
Memories Worskhop (UC San Diego) called - Paramagnetic Effects on
Trapped Charge Diffusion with Applications for x4 Data Integrity.
company says its findings could have applications in the enterprise storage
market by solving the
problems in x4 MLC SSDs within a new class of
Editor's comments:- I spoke to XLC's CTO - Dimitri Sholokov - he started by saying
he was a "great fan of the mouse site" - but got the impression we
were editorially biased
against the use
of MLC flash in enterprise apps.
"Sure - it's well known
there are many problems to be solved to get x4
integrity up to
the levels needed" said Sholokov. "Most designers are looking at
improving quantization errors and ECC. These are necessary to be fixed - but do
not go to the heart of the problem - which is charge diffusion - in the steady
state - and charge dumping and disturb effects. Even with perfect ADC and a
long chain EC - they only tell you that the data has already gone. You can't
get it back. Our technology shows a way to reduce this charge corruption before
it makes a data error."
XLC says it has experimentally
verified that attaching x4 flash chips distributed around a spinning platter
(5,400 RPM) - with the same diameter as a 2.5" hard drive - can in his
words "make the charge diffusion behave better." Orientation is
apparently important, and so too is the presence of a strong magnetic field.
Dimitri joked "Your readers may think this is kind of centrifugal force
stopping the charges falling out of their wells - but Newton's physics is not
known in these places - it's
paramagnetic force that tips the charge tunneling probabilities."
asked Dimitri if that meant his company was planning to set up a factory making
He said "No - that would be
ridiculous - then we risk being sued out of business like
Cornice - because of
some patent we didn't know about for gluing chips to a spinning platter. Let's
get serious - the hard
disk companies are the experts at making small mechanical things cheaply.
We would love it if they license our IP. We need them and they need us to get x4
into the enterprise."
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