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Micron Introduces Self-Correcting NAND Flash Memory

ClearNAND integrates error management in a single package, removing the error correction code burden from the host processor.

With NAND flash becoming the primary storage medium for manufacturers of wireless, consumer and enterprise computing devices, Micron Technology on Thursday unveiled a portfolio of high-capacity flash memory products designed to lengthen the life of NAND.

NAND is a flash technology used in memory cards for extended use in enterprise servers, tablet PCs, portable media players and other consumer applications.

The new Micron ClearNAND devices reduce the challenges traditionally found in NAND processors by integrating the error management techniques in the same NAND package, the Boise, Idaho-based company said.

"The pace of NAND scaling is largely responsible for the incredible growth and success the industry has seen to date, and for helping to create new flash-based storage solutions," said Glen Hawk, vice president of Micron's NAND Solutions Group, in a statement. "While the advantages in NAND scaling are evident, so are the challenges with the technology becoming increasingly more difficult to manage." The ClearNAND products remove this management burden and extend the technology's life, he said.

A conventional raw NAND interface is used in the ClearNAND products along with new features that are enhanced for high-performance applications. Flash management becomes more challenging as the industry moves past 20-nanometer (nm), because the amount of bit errors rises significantly, affecting NAND performance and reliability, Micron said. "By tightly coupling the error management with the NAND devices in a single package, Micron's customers can continue to take advantage of the highest capacity and lowest cost-per-bit flash memory solution,'' the company said. Micron's 25nm multi-level cell (MLC) process was used to design the ClearNAND products, which come in Standard and Enhanced versions.

The ClearNAND products were designed to remove the error correction code (ECC) burden from the host processor with minimal protocol changes compared to raw NAND, Micron said. The 8 and 32GB Standard ClearNAND portfolio is geared at portable media players and other consumer electronic devices.

The Enhanced ClearNAND products have capacities of 16 to 64GB and provide new enterprise specific features to enable high-capacity designs, for improved performance and reliability. The Enhanced ClearNAND product line is targeted at enterprise and computing applications, and allows 25nm MLC NAND to be used in these applications for the first time, Micron said.

Both the Micron Standard ClearNAND and Enhanced ClearNAND products are available now.

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