Semiconductor & Patent Expert Consulting

IP Litigation expert consultant and patent expert witness for process, device, and circuit of  Dynamic

 Ram (DRAM), Flash  (NAND, NOR, EEPROM), and Static Ram (SRAM) Memories,

 and Microprocessor, Logic, and Analog Devices


Mosaid claims new flash interface offers 10x boost


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Mosaid Technologies Inc. is unveiling a new memory interface that it claims will increase I/O bandwidth in flash by more than ten times today's conventional devices.

HyperLink NAND (HL-NAND) will be used in host controllers and shouldn't require any changes to the flash devices themselves. It can be used with a range of memory technologies, including NAND, NOR and emerging memories such as phase-change RAM.

Initially, the best application looks like the quickly expanding market for solid-state disk drives, which is set to grow to $14 billion by 2011, according to Web-Feet Research, a memory and storage market researcher. Currently, SSDs use faster—and more expensive—single-level cell NAND flash. HyperLink would enable the use of cheaper multilevel cell NAND because it could compensate for the slower read and write speeds.

"Many of today's high density NAND Flash components are suffering from degraded performance— primarily reduced write speeds and lower endurance than the last generation of devices—because of fundamental architectural and interface constraints," said Alan Niebel, chief executive of memory and storage market at Web-Feet.

Niebel said HL-NAND could shake up the prospects for products based on multilevel cell flash chips. "Mosaid has developed a novel device architecture, a new interface standard and an innovative write scheme to reverse the degradation trend and offer very significant improvements to the performance and reliability of solid state drives and other components that use NAND Flash memory," he said.

In a technology white paper, Mosaid said the architecture links up to 255 NAND flash devices in a point-to-point, bank-oriented ring topology. That enables transfer speeds up to 800 Mbytes/s, beating out the interface transfer rates of Serial ATA (300 Mbytes/s), Serial Attached SCSI (300 Mbytes/s) and Fiber Channel (400 Mbytes/s).

The company said a new write scheme significantly increases endurance and lowers power, but it did not immediately provide specifics on power reduction.

Current NAND devices are programmed on a page level and erased in larger block sizes. Mosaid said HL-NAND's new write scheme allows for page erase, multipage/block erase, partial block erase and random page program operations. This reduces copy overhead for wear-leveling operations and enhances system endurance by 30 percent, the company said.

At least one host controller customer, Phison Electronics Corp., has licensed the technology.