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Samsung Electronics and Sun Microsystems said on Thursday that they had collaborated to develop a single-level-cell (SLC) NAND flash memory device for use in solid state drives that offers much higher endurance levels than any other flash memory device on the market today.

Based on claims from the developers, the new 8Gb SLC device offers a five-fold increase in data write-and-erase cycles over standard SLC flash memory. According to Samsung, the new server-grade SLC NAND memory is designed to be used in SSDs to greatly extend the life cycle of any high-transaction data processing server. It is expected to deliver the highest endurance ever offered in 24/7 mission-critical computing. The ultra-endurance server-grade memory has been developed in close cooperation with Sun over the past several months.

“Sun sees incredible upside to using server grade SLC NAND flash to accelerate customers’ applications, and we plan to incorporate this technology into our line of servers and storage,” said Michael Cornwell, lead technologist for flash memory at Sun Microsystems.

Samsung said that its server-grade SLC memory will provide a 100 times increase over conventional hard drives, in the number of data transfers (input/output per second or I/OPS) per watt, registering a substantial power savings in a market sector where rising cooling bills are being watched with a great deal of concern.

“We have been working with Sun to develop this new 8Gb 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. Endurance up, power down’ is going to be the mantra of IT innovators at enterprises everywhere, and server grade SLC flash is ideally situated to deliver on that equation,” said Jim Elliott, vice president, memory marketing, Samsung Semiconductor.

Probable applications for the new ultra-endurance SLC flash include its use in video streaming, high-transaction data processing, search engine operations and other high-speed server functions.

“Flash SSDs of this quality and performance when included in our systems and Open Storage products with Solaris ZFS will revolutionize the hardware marketplace. We are excited to be working closely with Samsung to lead this game-changing technology revolution,” Mr. Cornwell said.

According to IDC, global demand for enterprise SSDs is expected to rise to 2.24 million units in 2012.

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