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Fewer reasons remaining against SSD adoption

Limited write endurance is one of the factors that detractors bring up with regards to solid state drives (SSDs). Most NAND flash chips using multi-level cell (MLC)technology in SSDs have a write endurance of around 10,000 cycles. That isn't as great a problem in SSDs greater than 120GB that use wear-leveling technology, but smaller sized SSDs have less capacity and will reach the upper limit much quicker.

That issue is why almost all SSDs aimed at the corporate and enterprise market use Single Level Cell flash chips, which typically have a write endurance around the 100,000 cycle mark. These include Intel's X25-E, OCZ's Vertex EX and Agility EX series, and Super Talent's MasterDrive RX series.

Micron Technology is one of the key partners in IM Flash Tech along with Intel Corporation. IMFT produces the 34nm NAND flash used in Intel's second generation X25-M SSDs using 2-bit-per-cell MLC chips. Micron and IMFT have been working on improving the write endurance of their NAND chips, and they have now reached a breakthrough.

“By leveraging our mature 34nm NAND process, Micron has developed Enterprise NAND products that support customers’ high-endurance requirements. These products ensure that enterprise organizations have a highly reliable NAND flash solution – be it MLC or SLC – for design into the broader enterprise storage platform,” said Brian Shirley, Vice President of Micron’s memory group.

The company’s new 32Gb MLC Enterprise NAND devices achieve an impressive 30,000 write cycles. They are also introducing a 16Gb SLC Enterprise NAND device that achieves 300,000 write cycles. The new chips also support the ONFI 2.1 synchronous interface, making them easier to integrate into new products.

Both of these new chips are built on the 34nm process which IMFT introduced last year, and can be configured into multi-die, single packages supporting densities of up to 32GB for MLC NAND and 16GB for SLC NAND.

Micron is now sampling its Enterprise NAND products with customers and controller manufacturers, and is expected to enter volume production at the beginning of 2010.

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By PrezWeezy on 10/21/2009 12:59:20 PM , Rating: 2
Actually it DID take about 10 to 15 minutes. And I timed it taking 13 seconds now. You obviously have never worked on a CPA's network. The amount of software it has to load is incredible. Add in the 5+ GB of email, the Document add-on, the Engagement add-on, e-Tools and a host of scanning "junk" it takes a while.

I defined being booted as being in windows, outlook open, and you can click on the start menu with it popping up instead of grinding. To hit the power button and get to the logon screen took noticeably longer, but maybe in the 45 second neighborhood. Although that time tends to not be important because the last thing we have people do at night when they leave is restart so it is at Ctrl+Alt+Del when they come in the next morning.

The fact is that the only real limiting factor in most PC's today is getting the information from the hard drive to the memory. You can argue that perhaps I could have made them slightly faster by optimizing the fragmentation using JKdefrag or that perhaps I could have simply used bigger drives with higher platter density. But all of that messing around, spending time would have resulted in a few percentage difference. Not worth it. The SSD's are the biggest difference you can make in a PC today. Simply because it removes the single slowest bottleneck.

As a side note, yes, it really does make a difference in time when installing software. We use large SAS arrays with GB Ethernet to all of our PC's it was then limited by how fast it could copy to the drive.

You can disagree with me on some specific point or two but don't go down the road of being supreme knowledge in the universe. You aren't involved in our network, you don't know the layout, you don't know the software or the requirements. If you say that SSD's don't make a difference in your setup that's fine. I tend to think they would, but you can make that decision because I don't know your topology. For us, they made a huge difference.

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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