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New SSD disk from Gigabyte

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Yes, but will Mini-me take over the world? ;)

Samsung CEO: NAND Flash Will Replace Hard Drives

NAND flash memory is currently widely used in digital cameras, mobile phones, USB flash drives and portable music players such as Apple Computer's groovy new iPod Nano.

With a cackle in his voice and a size nine sending a RAID array skywards, Hwang reckons that we'll soon be seeing laptop memory cards with 32GB of memory, based on multiple 16Gb flash chips.

NAND flash uses a 50nm process which shrinks the flash memory to just 0.00625 square microns per bit, 25 per cent down on the previous 60nm process.

....If the HD-torturing Samsung head honcho is right, we can expect to see a 32Gb NAND chip this year, enabling hefty 64GB memory cards, followed by 128GB memory cards next year."

Samsung to do up 32GB flash memory chip

"13. Yes, there are 100k write limitations (technically I believe it's actually 100k erases per block) but a software layer above the actual flash chip deals both with mapping out "worn" blocks (take a block from the spare area and use it instead), and a process called "wear levelling".

For every area that gets written frequently (eg the FAT of a disk), there are plenty of areas which don't - say, one of the windows binaries. Wear levelling will cycle these blocks, moving the largely static area into blocks that have had a hammering in the past, and using fresh blocks for the bits getting hammered. This process happens flash-wide over the life of the flash disk, which in effect extends the visible cycle limits to hundreds of millions of cycles.

This happens already (and totally seamlessly) in all controller-equipped flash memory - eg, CF cards, SD cards, MMC cards... well, at least those from reputable manufacturers."

Do see that former SR member Future Shock is once again, misinformed and incorrect; re: lifespans of flash memory ;). Not that any form of flash memory is not prone to failure-always have a backup available, and make duplicate copies of important information.

The Panasonic HVX200 handheld 1080p HD camcorder I mentioned in a previous post is now shipping (later than expected/promised, but about what you get for hard drive announcements ;-) ); but one thing that has not happened during that delay is a drop in price for the highest capacity 8GB Raid flash memory used to record that compressed 100Mb/s HD 1080p data stream. But 6 months later, we now have Google, Disney, cellular phones, and a host of other video on demand devices that are in need of flash memory, the more the merry. Mass market penetartion hasn't come to fruition, and probably won't until next year, but it's coming...if not exactly as fast as Samsung would have you believe. But a year ago, who would have thought there would be people watching video sports programs on their cell phones here in the USA? Or video on the iPod? With H264 acceleration, we'll need more memory storage capability, and faster throughput. Price decline and speed increases will follow hand in hand. Now who in their right mind would watch HDTV on a cell phone, or want to try and record HDTV with a built-in camcorder fuction on a cell phone? Answer: more than you think!

High-End Mobile Phones Prove Popular Considering China's economy is still booming, and their stated desire to have a fully HD 2008 Beijing Olympics, expect more handheld video capable players, not just cell phones to proliferate in the region of the world.

Of course we expect Samsung to be overly optimistic about the time frames---128GB by next year for what price, lol; so I'll just take the attitude that I'll believe it when they actually ship. Still the near future is in the writing, Gigabyte 'powered' Ram drives are doomed to be a passing phase.

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Of course we expect Samsung to be overly optimistic about the time frames---128GB by next year for what price, lol; so I'll just take the attitude that I'll believe it when they actually ship. Still the near future is in the writing, Gigabyte 'powered' Ram drives are doomed to be a passing phase.

NAND flash is still slower than DRAM though, there's still room for DRAM-based products. The Gigabyte iRam's are silly toys of course. If they were operating as pure battery-backed cache, then there'd be something worthwhile. (I.e., plug iRAM into SATA port, plug SATA hard disk into iRAM, daisy-chain style. Then instead of the piddly 8-16MB of internal disk cache, you have a couple GB of disk cache and it's all handled transparently. Cache is always superior to dedicated RAMdisks...)

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How ironic, those two reviews on the eWiz site - "imagine Windows burned into a ROM" - "this is the way of the future" ... That's actually the way of the past, going back at least 20 years, when Ataris and Amigas shipped with full GUI OS's in ROM. Back then 4MB was a large main memory capacity, and I had a 4MB external battery-backed RAMdisk as well. (Then again, I guess this just proves my point that Microsoft has retarded the progress of computing by at least 20 years.)

But you'll probably never see Windows built into any PC ROMs, the code is too buggy and in need of patching to ever be stable enough to make it worthwhile. It might be interesting to build a motherboard with a bank of address space populated by flash, reserved for a resident OS image. You need the flash to actually occupy the memory address space in order to get zero boot times. (I.e., execute in place, as opposed to paging in from a flash disk device to main memory.)

Edited by hyc

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Hello guys, I stumbled onto this topic today and registered here. I have been looking over the i-RAMs and other SSD devices for awhile looking forward to the day I could afford a practicle setup including something like this.

As some have probably discovered, the i-RAM has a small stability issue in RAID0, unfortunate, because aside from the speed offered by the product it's greatest limitation for many applications is the 4GB limit. Now Samsung has anounced their new NAND Flash drive, 32GB, 2.5", ATA5 interface. It's targeted at laptop HD replacement and 64GB drives will show up, but they will be very expensive weighting in at about $35 USD per GB.

There are some other products that are similar to the i-RAM, but none look like they are actually going to market any time soon. Time is of course all that it will take and we will have these and they will be affordable.

Nice to meet you guys and good luck with things.

EDIT: oh, and the AMIGAs never had the OS burned to ROM, the first ones used a boot floppy and the OS was stored there. If you could afford a 10MB HD then you could load the OS to it, but they were $400 back then lol.

Edited by lcpiper

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EDIT: oh, and the AMIGAs never had the OS burned to ROM, the first ones used a boot floppy and the OS was stored there. If you could afford a 10MB HD then you could load the OS to it, but they were $400 back then lol.

I was under this impression too, but I didn't own the first ever ever Amiga, only a 500 and a 4000/030. Something in my head keeps niggling that the 1000 was it may of...

The Atari had... TOS wasn't it? :D and after 45 odd secs (could be more) of no disk being put in definately booted into its OS, cut down admittedly. Though GEM springs to mind too.

Damn, those were the days.

Nox

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Since this thing uses a SATA interface, you could just mirror the drive with a regular drive to provide data security. Yeah, doing this would slow things done by and unknown degree, but it'd be worth it in a lot of cases. Especially cases where most of the load is reads and not writes.

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Better to do a regular, automated backup. Most RAID 1 controllers would wait for each write to complete on both drives before proceeding to the next one. Reads wouldn't really be optimally distributed either. And you'd have at least some protection against other ways of losing data.

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What I haven't seen mentioned is the impact of below 1 ms access times on chipset performance. My first thought would be that I'd be darned if this wouldn't make a mess on some controllers, like nvidia would be my sure bet of troubble. Neither Raid controllers nor chipsets were designed for such low access times, and so it seems to me there could be issues with either slack or design assumptions affecting stability. Like the problems with usb bus and large file writes that affect disk image writing.

Also, memory compability and stability could be an issue. My asus a8n32 mb, at boot I am getting lots of noise from my hda-x soundcard. The pci voltage might not be the most stable one, I'm really not sure but I don't think it is so uncommon that it leaks noise into it or that it'll be all jumpy with hd activity etc. The design seems heavily bastardized to me, as people have stated they are adding a whole step to the pipe depending on an external sata controller. I bet they could have put this on pci-e on an sil3132 easily, and they could have the option of a second external device (even a hd) on e-sata that would offer raid0/1.

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