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OCZ Technology, a major own-brand vendor of solid-state drives, said that triple-cell-per-bit (TLC) NAND flash memory could be used for solid-state drives.  In fact, the company plans to use the memory originally intended for temporary storage solutions (e.g. memory cards and USB flash sticks) for permanent storage devices, e.g., SSDs.

"We announce [the intention to ship] TLC-based drives! [...] People have been talking about [TLC-based SSDs] for a long time and we have now put ourselves with next-gen [Indilinx Everest] controller, which we are shipping in January, and position it for low-end servers, consumers, laptops, retail; those sub-segments that really can adopt TLC-based solutions. This is really where we can get over four years of life [of SSDs]," said Ryan Petersen, chief executive officer of OCZ at the Needham HDD and memory conference.

Triple-bit-per-cell (3bpc) NAND flash is relatively cheap in manufacturing, but its redundancy is dramatically below that of multi-layer cell [MLC, 2bpc]: around a 1000 writes (for TLC) versus 10000 writes (for MLC) and simply cannot be compared to the number of write cycles for SLC [single layer per bit] which are around 100 000.

The latest OCZ Everest controller for SSDs does support TLC NAND flash. In theory a combination of a very advanced controller along with extreme redundancy are needed to overcome disadvantages of TLC type of memory. What OCZ plans to do remains unknown.

Tags: OCZ, SSD, Business, NAND, Flash

Discussion

Comments currently: 9
Discussion started: 11/04/11 01:46:38 PM
Latest comment: 11/09/11 09:57:37 PM
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1. 
This doesn't sound like a good strategy for SSDs but we'll see what OCZ delivers.
0 0 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 11/04/11 01:46:38 PM]
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2. 
Hum... My X25MN G2 80GB has been running for 2 years before I sold it some weeks ago. Doing this, I looked at the SMART data: In this 2 years I wrote in the SSD about 700GB, then I reached abotut ten - twelve cycles in eac cell (write amplification slighty more than 1).
I know I have been very carefull in using it (no paging, no temporary, no scratch, no hybertation). But also being more aggressive... I could write 100 cycles in 2 years... Nont so much, also compared to the poor performance of this TLC.
Obviusly in a workstation you can't use SSD based on this cheap memory tipe...

But I have another question. You speak about 10000 cycles for a MLC, and until some mounths ago I thought it too... But isn't 10000 cycles the value for 50nm memories? When 25nm mem based SSD started to be shipped, they have been criticized because of their 3000 cicles, instead of (I read) 5000 cycles for a 34nm flash memory, and, as I knew, 10000 cycles for a 50nm flash memory...
Wich of the two is true?

If TLC memories offer one thousand cicles instead of ten thousands they are very bad... If they offer 1000 against 3000 it's only bad...
2 0 [Posted by: papafoxtrot  | Date: 11/04/11 03:53:14 PM]
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3. 
OCZ says, 'no problem, your data is cheap"
0 0 [Posted by: Tukee44  | Date: 11/05/11 10:32:18 AM]
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4. 
SSD's are starting to slowly come down in price. you can get 120gb SSD's for less then 150 bucks now.
0 0 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 11/05/11 03:24:02 PM]
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5. 
This is for non-critical use. Even if the write cycle is reached, the data will still be there, just copy it out that's all.

I think the speed will drop dramatically too, but the seek time should still be far better than conventional hdd.
0 0 [Posted by: iieeann  | Date: 11/05/11 08:37:03 PM]
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- collapse thread

 
Or get the extended warranty on it.
0 0 [Posted by: Zoomer  | Date: 11/06/11 12:31:24 PM]
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6. 
This could be awesome if OCZ is able to play their cards right. Obviously the price will need to be low. If TLC memory can be obtained cheaply enough in bulk to give something ridiculous like 50%+ provision, just the raw amount of memory dies in such a beast gives some exciting thoughts to how many memory channels could be available to the controller used.

The trick of course is that 4 years lifespan. That's something I would be very okay with if I could get say 500Gb for $190'ish. If performance was also good due to the above reasons I would be happy to buy another drive in 4 years since by that point, hopefully other SSD tech will be more affordable and/or TLC could be made more reliable (which I know is pretty doubtful). Worst case, I buy a then new 2Tb TLC drive at that time to last me for the 4 years after that. =D

I would be thankful to have the opportunity to even afford 500Gb SSD storage RIGHT NOW and enjoy it for 4 years rather than hoping I MIGHT be able to afford that much space 3 years FROM now. The hardest part for OCZ would be getting "Joe/Jane Sixpack" consumer to not bash them in four years when their "new drive didn't last FOREVAR" like it wasn't supposed to do. =(
0 0 [Posted by: xrror  | Date: 11/06/11 02:42:51 AM]
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7. 
why don't they use other kind of memory instead of nand. because nand looks like it has a write life.
0 0 [Posted by: massau  | Date: 11/06/11 10:30:49 AM]
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8. 
why do you call the lifespan / max write count a "redundancy" in the article?
0 0 [Posted by: taltamir  | Date: 11/09/11 09:57:37 PM]
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