Micron and Sun Co-Develop Flash Memory with One Million Write Cycle Capability

NAND Flash Memory Becomes More Immune Against Heavy Usage

by Anton Shilov
12/18/2008 | 12:16 PM

Micron Technology has announced it has worked with Sun Microsystems to develop a new single-level cell (SLC) enterprise NAND technology that extends the lifespan of flash-based storage for enterprise applications. The result of the collaboration has yielded production devices capable of achieving one million write cycles.

 

“Micron is pleased to work with Sun on this landmark achievement, enabling the use of flash in new applications that were previously not possible because of the inherent write/erase cycle limitations of standard SLC and MLC NAND,” said Brian Shirley, vice president of Micron’s memory group.

Micron claims that its SLC NAND flash devices will sustain one million write cycles, ten times more compared to typical SLC NAND flash’s one hundred thousand write cycles. The number of write cycles for MLC NAND is unclear, but it may also go up ten times from 10 thousand times per bit.

“We expect this technology to revolutionize the enterprise storage hierarchy and be adopted by a wide range of transaction-intensive applications, including solid state drives and storage systems, disk caching, as well as networking and industrial applications,” added Mr. Shirley.

Micron is now sampling its Enterprise NAND in densities up to 32Gb/s. Volume production is expected in the first quarter of 2009. Micron also plans to introduce both SLC and multi-level cell (MLC) enterprise versions on its industry-leading 34nm NAND process early next year.

“As the market for enterprise SSD flash storage technology matures, leaders like Sun combine technological innovation and next-generation open source software to deliver flash-based storage products that offer radical simplicity and breakthrough performance at a fraction of the cost of traditional disk-based storage systems,” said Michael Cornwell, lead technologist for flash memory at Sun.