OCZ is showing the first mainstream computer flash drive using 3-bit NAND at CES 2012. Flash comes in single-level cell (SLC) form, the fastest, longest-lived and most expensive, and also a 2-bit multi-level cell (MLC) variant which is slower, has a shorter working life but is less expensive than SLC. TLC is an extension of this …
SSD manufacturers should be focusing on bringing the advantages of SLC to mass affordability, as opposed to increasing unit cell level count.
IMHO, MLC flash already trades too much reliability and write performance for storage density as it is.
I would much rather see flash fabs work on shrinking SLC unit cell size, and develop three dimensional "stacked SLC" dies, than try to cram more bits into an individual MLC unit cell.
There's room for improvement along many axes. I'd _love_ to replace the 1TB ($100, AnteDiluvian) data disk in my laptop with a $500 SSD if all I got was 50% of the seek time improvements of current high-end MLCs. I don't need _fast_ or extreme reliability for what I do, just (!) <0.1ms and >250MB/s reads, and bulk, bulk, bulk. [Once you SSD you never go back!]
So pushing for cheapest-possible, 3+-year lifetime SSDs is fine by me, and I'm happy that OCZ, etc. have the prospect of Big Profits from replacing more consumer HDs, as well as from tweaking bulletproof N*100k IOPS/s "Enterprise" database index drives, and from satisfying run-of-the-mill speed freaks (my boot disk is a fast SSD, and longterm reliability is frankly not an issue there either -- do any decently paid and supported data geeks keep their primary computer for more than 3 years?)
[ Beer because Tuesday is far away from Friday. And because $500/TB SSDs are a few generations away. Both make me sad, so I drink. ]
Shrinking the cell isn't much different than increasing the number of variable charges that a cell holds. My only fear is that some company will sell TLC as MLC since the 'M' stands for multi. and they'd probably have some disclaimer in an extremely small/unreadable font.
More BSOD just around the bend.......
Guess the doubling of production and production cost cut in half from using 21nm MLC, the consumers will never will see the light at the end of the tunnel!
Just what we needAn even less reliable drive from OCZ. Had enough Vertex drives die on me to keep well away.
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