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New flash memory breaks speed barriers

Feb 1, 2008 — by Rick Lehrbaum — 5 views

Intel and Micron Technology have unveiled a high-speed NAND flash memory technology claimed to offer up to five times the performance of conventional flash memory. The new high-speed flash reportedly can achieve read and write speeds of 200MB/sec and 100MB/sec, respectively.

The new high speed NAND technology was developed by IM Flash Technologies (IMFT), an Intel/Micron joint venture. IMFT’s high-speed flash design is said to leverage the Open NAND Flash Interface (ONFi) Working Group‘s ONFi 2.0 draft specification for high-speed flash memory, and was implemented by combining a four-plane architecture with higher clock speeds.

Among other applications, Intel and Micron expect the new technology to enable hybrid hard drives — drives that integrate high-speed flash memory with magnetic media — to achieve between two and four time the performance of conventional hard drives.

The Intel/Micron announcement follows the ONFi Working Group’s November 2007 release of a draft of its high-speed NAND specification. The group currently boasts 71 member companies, and expects to release final version of its ONFi 2.0 specification early this year.

ONFi 2.0 defines a high-speed NAND interface that’s expected to offer an upward migration path to 400MB/sec transfer rates in a future third-generation implementation, according to the group.

According to Micron’s website, engineering samples for 1, 2, and 4 gigabyte parts are now available, but the devices are not yet in production.

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