Durability Questions

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-08-19 Print this article Print

MLC is designed for desktops and notebooks; SLC is for enterprise flash. Winslow said Intel has finally come up with an MLC flash chip that will provide 250MB-per-second read/write performance and can be expected to have "at least five years of useful life in a notebook or PC application."

The knock on flash has always been that its durability is suspect.

"This has been the challenge for the industry, to design NAND flash memory that can do more than just facilitate large file transfers of music and photos to and from USB thumb drives," Winslow said.

"When you go into a compute environment, you're dealing with much smaller blocks and much more frequent reads and writes. With our proprietary controller, our firmware and 10-channel architecture, we've been able to design an MLC device that's in a class by itself," he said.

Most flash SSDs now on the market use only four to six channels in their architecture. Winslow said Intel's can be virtualized from 10 physical channels to up to 20 virtualized channels, which speeds performance markedly.

Intel released the specifications and some performance benchmarks on the SSDs at the conference, which continues through Aug. 21.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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