TAIPEI, Taiwan — Mosaid Technologies Inc. is unveiling a new
interface that it claims will increase
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
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.