Double data density: Intel, Micron develop 128-gigabit flash chip

A terabit of data storage in a fingertip-size package: Intel and Micron say their new 128-gigabit NAND flash chip provides twice the storage capacity and performance of their previous 64Gb device, “providing customers with a more cost-effective solid-state storage solution for today’s slim, sleek product designs.”

Smaller than a fingertip, the multilevel-cell chip was created through a 20 nanometer manufacturing process, with a planar structure that allows memory cells to scale much smaller than before, and stacking as many as eight chips on top of each other. It is capable of 333 megatransfers per second,

High-definition video is one example of an application that requires high-capacity storage, the companies say, since attempting to stream this type of data can create a poor user experience.

It was developed through Intel and Micron’s joint-development venture, IM Flash Technologies, and mass production is set for the first half of 2012.

More information is here.


CompactFlash guarantees video performance

The CompactFlash Association released its first Video Performance Guarantee profile specification for CompactFlash cards.

The VPG Profile 1 specification enables guaranteed sustained capture of video streams at up to 20MB/sec. for professional video capture.

VPG Profiles are a new kind of video stream specification that goes beyond command definitions and simple speed requirements, the association says. “VPG profiles specify the characteristics of a video stream to ensure compliant cameras and CF cards work together to meet the sophisticated requirements of professional video capture.” This includes guaranteed video capture over multiple capture files without dropping frames, enabling high quality 1080p capture at high frame rates with either under and over cranking functionality.

CompactFlash cards are currently available up to 128GB with sustained data rates over 100MB/sec. and provide the dominant flash storage solution for the new multi-mega pixel DSLR cameras and professional video cameras, the CFA claims.

The new VPG Profile specification is available for immediate download from the CompactFlash Association website here.


The CFA also announce the XQD specification, billed as a new high-performance memory card, based on the PCI Express specification. “The XQD format will enable further evolution of hardware and imaging applications, and widen the memory card options available to CompactFlash users such as professional photographers,” the association says.

The XQD format measures 38.5 by 29.8 by 3.8mm. It supports write speeds of 2.5Gbps today and 5Gbps in the future.

SanDisk preserves pictures for a century

SanDisk calls its Memory Vault “a photo album for the digital age,” and says it “preserves images in one reliable location” — for at least 100 years.

Hard drives contain moving parts and CDs can scratch, SanDisk says. “Memory Vault delivers the long-term reliability that valuable photos deserve.” SanDisk’s Chronolock technology incorporates key elements of advanced solid-state storage to create a proprietary memory management solution, the company claims. SanDisk reports it conducted accelerated temperature cycling tests that simulated the effects of data retention over long periods of time. “This allows the device to provide consumers with peace of mind that their precious photos and videos will be preserved for up to 100 years.”

The USB device has a ruggedized, metallic design. The 8-gigabyte model is $50; the 16GB capacity costs $90, “and can store thousands of images and hours of HD video.”


• SanDisk says it doubled the performance and capacity of its professional-grade storage card for the 64GB Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-I. It has the fastest write performance of any SD card in the world, the company claims, to 90 megabyte per second. The 8GB capacity is $110

• SanDisk’s 64GB microSDXC card can double the capacity of smartphones and tablets, the company says. The card features up to 30MB/sec4 transfer speeds. Pricing starts at $25 for 4GB.

• With a new agreement with Eye-Fi, SanDisk will distribute co-branded SD wireless memory card to consumers throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

The wireless card transfers photos and videos from a camera to a nearby smartphone or tablet; when within range of WiFi , the files can glide seamlessly to a computer.



• Most would not destroy photos for $1 million

Photos are so precious that 64 percent of U.S. adults would not consider destroying their family photo collection for any amount of money, not even for one million dollars.

SanDisk issued results from an online survey conducted on its behalf by Harris Interactive from July 28-August 1, 2011 among 2,294 U.S. adults aged 18 and older2.

The survey also found that 79 percent of U.S. adults with digital photos plan on passing them down to future generations.

Also, family photos rank only after family member or pets among the items U.S. adults would save from a house fire. However, more than half of U.S. adults say that they could not gather all of their important family photos within one minute, SanDisk adds. “Memory Vault lets consumers consolidate family photos in one reliable location and quickly access their important images when they need them.”


CompactFlash Association updates specification

The CompactFlash Association’s latest specification adds performance and functionality based on the Parallel ATA interface while maintaining backward compatibility.

CF 6.0 also adds a “Sanitize” command, which provides an efficient NAND Block Erase of the entire user data area to return the CF card to a fresh state before reuse or repurposing; trim usage guidelines; and an operating temperature range function along with adding Ultra DMA Mode 7 which supports 167 MB/second speed. “This speed enhancement enables a new generation of higher performance cards while providing complete backward compatibility,” the association says .

The new CF 6.0 specification is available for immediate download here.

Toshiba to standardize wireless storage cards?

Saying “the need for quick and easy way to share photographs has grown,” NAND flash memory manufacturer Toshiba proposed a “Standard Promotion Forum for Memory Cards Embedding Wireless LAN.”

Working with Singapore-based Trek 2000, the proposal calls for an 8GB SDHC card with integrated 802.11b/g to transfer JPEG and RAW images.

Toshiba and Trek “invite the participation of digital camera manufacturers and other interested parties in promoting the card, and in exchanges of technical information toward establishing standard specifications and expanding the use of the card.”

We note Eye-Fi — the company which pioneered camera storage cards with built-in WiFi to upload pictures without cables — is not yet a part of this proposed partnership…

Transcend takes SDXC card to 64GB

The 64GB Class 10 SDXC storage card from Transcend Information has transfer rates up to 25 megabytes per second, for extended HD video recording.

The new SDXC standard supports capacities ranging from 32GB to 2TB; the previous SDHC supports capacities up to 32GB.

A 64GB SDXC card stores 640 minutes of 1920 by 1080 HD video, the company says.

Symbols for Speed on SD

The SD Association approved symbols for “the fastest SDXC and SDHC devices and memory cards.”

The “Ultra High Speed” symbol identifies products with bus interface speeds up to 104 Megabytes per second for greater device performance. The “UHS Speed Class” symbol identifies SD memory cards and products with a performance option allowing real-time video recording.

“The sheer variety of high-performing, feature-rich devices has dictated the need for a wide variety of SD memory card speeds and capacities to maximize device performance and meet consumer expectations,” the association says . “With more than 2.5 billion SD memory cards in the market today, the new high-speed performance capabilities will co-exist with earlier SD memory cards still used by consumers, as those cards are still interoperable with the newest host devices.”

More information is here.

Samsung Speeds Flash Storage

Samsung Electronics is now sampling 20 nanometer NAND chips which its says are substantially faster then previous generations of Flash storage used in camera cards.

“The new 20nm-class NAND is not only a significant step forward in process design,” the company says, “but we have incorporated advanced technologies into it to enable substantial performance innovation.”

As compared to 30nm-class MLC NAND — itself developed just a year ago — the write performance of a 20nm-class-based, eight gigabyte and higher density SD cards is 30 percent faster: a read speed of 20MB/s, and a write speed of 10MB/s.