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Tag - Flash memory
Apple is rumored to be in talks to buy an Israeli startup called Anobit in deal said to be valued up to $500 million. The fabless semiconductor company has developed a flash memory controller technology that makes cheap non-volatile memory work as well as more expensive memory. The company claims to be able to make 3-bit multi-level cell MLC NAND flash, which typically has a shorter working life, last as long as 2-bit MLC, and 2-bit MLC function as long as single-level cell flash.
Toshiba has reportedly established an agreement with Samsung over its system chips, with fabrication said to be outsourced to the latter company, according to an unconfirmed report in the Japanese newspaper Nikkei. The strategy change is reportedly designed to allow Toshiba to concentrate its production efforts on flash memory.
A new chip, created by startup Lyric Semiconductor, promises to shrink flash memory and provide new methods for spam filtering or other processes. The technology utilizes "probability processing" to solve certain problems that can benefit from determining the probability of bits being zero or one. Lyric's LEC chips are designed with new gates, architecture and language dedicated solely to processing probabilities.
Toshiba on Monday introduced a new 64GB embedded NAND flash memory module, claimed to be the highest capacity in the industry. The component combines a dedicated controller and sixteen 32Gbit chips manufactured using the company's 32nm technology. Chip thinning and layering methods help bring the chip thickness down to just 30 micrometers.
The US International Trade Commission has reportedly begun an investigation focusing on several companies that produce or purchase NAND flash components, including Samsung, RIM, Apple and others, according to Barron's. BTG International has accused Samsung of violating several patents involving "MLC" type flash memory.
OCZ has released its OCZ Solid 2 SATA II 2.5” Solid State Drive, using MLC-based NAND flash memory for a balance between performance and price. While MLC memory is slightly slower than SLC memory, the new drives deliver 100MB/sec write (120GB model) and 125MB/sec read speeds and a seek time of less than 0.1ms using the less expensive memory type. The drives carry a 64MB onboard cache and a three-year warranty, while mean time between failure is rated at 1.5 million hours.
Speculation that Apple has been ordering large quantities of NAND flash memory and constraining global supplies has contributed to a recent surge in prices. An inSpectrum report claims that the mainstream 16GB multi-level cell (MLC) components appreciated over 40 percent through February. The spot price has jumped by eight percent just in the past week, following reports suggesting that preparations for the next-generation iPhone were reducing inventory levels for the memory modules.
Apple's preparations for the next-generation iPhone line is constraining worldwide supplies for leading flash memory manufacturers and may increase prices. A new analyst report says that Apple’s (unannounced) refresh of iPhones is putting increased pressure on flash memory manufacturers managing dwindling inventory. According to Cult of Mac, ThinkEquity analyst Vijay Rakesh is telling clients that Apple has begun placing orders for memory for a yet unannounced upgrade to the current iPhone 3G and the rumored "iPhone Nano" or a similar device. Most recently RBC analyst Mark Abramsky claimed that a $99 iPhone would appear later this summer, but that the device would not be a rumored iPhone nano, but instead a pared-down regular iPhone.
Toshiba has announced higher density, faster memory chips in a new lineup of 43nm single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash memory, featuring 2GB, 4GB and 8GB individual chips. The 43 nanometer process allows Toshiba to deliver double the density of its previous 56nm process, while also delivering SLC speeds, which are approximately 2.5x faster than the more common, denser but historically slower MLC (Multi-Level Cell) memory.
Earlier this month, a report had Samsung interested in buying portable flash memory maker SanDisk, and today’s rumors have another suitor considering making a bid for the company. A newswire reports Toshiba is the latest interested party, and is only considering a bid in order to prevent competitor Samsung from taking over SanDisk, thus creating a near monopoly as the sole supplier of NAND flash memory devices, components and subsystems.