Samsung, Sun create flash chip for server SSDs

New flash chip for server-grade solid-state drives offers higher endurance levels than current flash memory, companies say.

Samsung and Sun Microsystems have developed a flash chip for use in solid-state drives that offers higher endurance levels than current devices, the companies say.

The chip is targeted at server applications.

Samsung solid state drive
Samsung solid-state drive Samsung

The Samsung flash memory chip is based on single-level-cell (SLC) NAND flash technology and offers a fivefold increase in data write-and-erase cycles over standard SLC flash memory, according to Samsung.

SLC-based flash chips are faster and offer more write-and-erase cycles than multilevel cell (MLC)-based devices. MLC, however, offers greater capacities and lower cost, making it suitable for notebook computers. MLC-based solid-state drives from Samsung, Intel, Micron Technology, and Toshiba are expected to flood the market in the second half of the year.

Samsung's new SLC NAND memory is designed for server-grade SSDs, particularly high-transaction data processing servers. The "ultra-endurance" memory has been developed in close cooperation with Sun over the past several months, Samsung said.

"We have been working with Sun to develop this new...server-grade SLC flash memory, which will give IT managers the best in high-density, high-endurance memory design with markedly less energy consumption than we see today," Jim Elliott, vice president of memory marketing at Samsung Semiconductor, said in a statement.

Probable applications include video streaming and search engine operations. The chip will provide a 100X increase over conventional hard disk drives in the number of data transfers (input/output per second or I/OPS) per watt, offering significant power savings, according to Samsung.

Sun said it plans to incorporate the technology into its line of servers and storage, according to Michael Cornwell, lead technologist for flash memory at Sun.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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