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New Flash Specs Double Transfer Speeds of SSDs

By - Source: ONFI | B 18 comments

The Open NAND Flash Interface has released a new standard.

Tuesday the Open NAND Flash Interface (ONFI) Working Group published the new ONFI 3.0 standard that doubles current NAND interface transfer rates (ONFI 2.3) using the non-volatile DDR2 (NV-DDR2) interface. This will enable transfer speeds up to 400 MB/sec for flash storage products such as solid state drives located inside computers, laptops, tablets and other consumer electronics.

The Open NAND Flash Interface is an industry working group made up of more than 80 companies that build, design-in, or enable NAND flash memory. The group has devoted its resources in simplifying NAND flash integration into consumer electronic products, computing platforms, and any other application that requires solid state mass storage. The group's current standard, ONFI 2.3, was released back in August 2010.

The new flash specification details the interface and infrastructure that ONFI members can employ in order to develop faster products. ONFI 3.0 requires fewer channels than its predecessor which means a savings in physical space and overall cost. The new 3.0 spec is also more power efficient than previous standards, and includes error-correction capabilities to boot.

"The ONFI 3.0 incorporates a sophisticated die selection feature that reduces the number of chip enable (CE) pins, which in turn lowers the number of controller pins making PCB routing more efficient," the OFNI stated. "Reducing the number of CE pins is especially important for SSDs, providing a significant cost reduction and allowing the extra pins to be assigned to other applications within the system."

Intel added that ONFI 3.0 now has its support, saying the new specs will give way to faster SSDs in the future. Additionally, SandForce, Micron and Spansion have also expressed their dedication to the new standard, saying the ONFI 3.0 standard will play an important role for high-performance computing applications "where speed is paramount."

"ONFI 3.0 doubles the bus speed which is critical to delivering high-performance solid state storage solutions across all compute application needs, especially for given capacity footprints as NAND die density and page sizes increase,” said Steffen Hellmold, vice president of business development for SandForce. “Furthermore the innovative measures taken to reduce pin count will help drive system improvements in cost and complexity. We are proud supporters of the ONFI specification and are working on delivering an SSD processor solution fully embracing this new interface capability in 2012."

Sounds like we may need a seat belt for 2012.

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  • -1 Hide
    cmartin011 , March 16, 2011 9:00 PM
    oh boy! oh wait are they not pushing more than 400 MB/sec already? sata 3 already MAX out for the most part. Are they trying every thing in there will to keep this at steady tip toeing pace or what wtf!
  • -1 Hide
    mosu , March 16, 2011 9:02 PM
    I wonder why most motherboards, even enthusiast/gamer type don't have at least one X4 PCI-Ex slot, but came with 4 and 5 X16 PCI-Ex.
  • 3 Hide
    kilo_17 , March 16, 2011 9:10 PM
    Now they just need to fall way down in price
  • 2 Hide
    XD_dued , March 16, 2011 9:26 PM
    mosuI wonder why most motherboards, even enthusiast/gamer type don't have at least one X4 PCI-Ex slot, but came with 4 and 5 X16 PCI-Ex.


    well...you could just plug the x4 cards into the x16 slots. Why limit the board's potential?
  • 1 Hide
    xambron , March 16, 2011 9:53 PM
    Better to hold out on SSD until they're larger, cheaper, and close to the standard.
  • 0 Hide
    quovatis , March 16, 2011 10:18 PM
    Say what? I thought current speeds are already 350 - 400 mb/s
  • 2 Hide
    vork , March 16, 2011 10:25 PM
    cmartin011oh boy! oh wait are they not pushing more than 400 MB/sec already? sata 3 already MAX out for the most part.


    I assume the 400 MB/s is per channel, the new Intel 510 SSD for example has 8 channels, so you can do the math on that one :) 
  • 1 Hide
    LordConrad , March 16, 2011 10:44 PM
    XD_duedwell...you could just plug the x4 cards into the x16 slots. Why limit the board's potential?

    The board's potential is already limited. How many of those x16 slots do you think actually work at x16 speeds? The answer is one or two, unless you have a really high-end motherboard.
  • 2 Hide
    Supertrek32 , March 16, 2011 10:53 PM
    SSD manufacturers should really start focusing on increasing the capacity and lowering the cost. These types of speeds are cool and all, but completely pointless for most applications.

    The only major application that would really see a benefit from is image/video processing. Trying to capture uncompressed video is the only process which can typically actually max out a connection other than backups. Backups can be automated and run during down-time, though, so that's not much of any issue.

    Of course... Uncompressed video takes up something like 400GB and hour for 720p.... Yay! So I wonder just how many of these drives you'd need, and how many thousands it would cost.

    Super-fast read/writes don't mean much if there isn't enough space to read/write the information. It's simply not practical.

    Now IOSpeed... That can be useful for servers, no doubt, but this doesn't seem to be an improvement in that regard.

    I won't say this is a completely pointless advancement of the technology, it will become relevant some day, but the research is improving the wrong things.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 16, 2011 11:20 PM
    If you read the whole article, you'd see that this new standard is supposed to reduce costs as well.
  • 1 Hide
    sephirothmk , March 16, 2011 11:29 PM
    quovatisSay what? I thought current speeds are already 350 - 400 mb/s


    Yus, but we need MOAR!
  • 1 Hide
    husker , March 16, 2011 11:58 PM
    @supertreck - I agree with what you said in principle, but SSD manufacturers are still enjoying a period of time where there is a lot of money to be made selling more expensive SSDs. If they undercut their own market by selling slower, less expensive SSDs (even with larger sales volumes) they won't make as much profit.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , March 17, 2011 2:58 AM
    husker@supertreck - I agree with what you said in principle, but SSD manufacturers are still enjoying a period of time where there is a lot of money to be made selling more expensive SSDs. If they undercut their own market by selling slower, less expensive SSDs (even with larger sales volumes) they won't make as much profit.


    i would be an irl troll, i would undercut it JUST for the sake of screwing over competition.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 17, 2011 7:52 AM
    supetreck are you crazy ? speed is not important but size is ? can you please tell me why you need a larger ssd than the current sizes of 250GB ? 250GB are more than enough for your OS, your apps AND your games. Now, if you have this notion that you want to store your mp3s or movies store the ssd, then i don't know what to say.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , March 17, 2011 9:33 AM
    mirror666supetreck are you crazy ? speed is not important but size is ? can you please tell me why you need a larger ssd than the current sizes of 250GB ? 250GB are more than enough for your OS, your apps AND your games. Now, if you have this notion that you want to store your mp3s or movies store the ssd, then i don't know what to say.


    well lets see here. I PERSONALY could use an ssd for general storage. bevcause i have an extensive collection (as in 1 mill+) of jpegs, pngs, gifs, and other imagess, i also have an extensive collection of htmls

    both of which are almost impossible ot manage on a standard hard drive. to manage the images alone i would need at least 250gb, and up to 500gb if i take a 3-4 year hardware refresh into account.

    I (i capitalized the i because i said it louder, not for correct grammar purposes) can use a 250gb+ ssd, in fact i could use 2tb of ssd as it stands, and who the hell can be satisfied with just 250gb of space. my applications i need run around 50-75gb, and my games run 20 gb each and 1gb or the older ones, i would fill 2 of these full for all i want to install on them.
  • 0 Hide
    gavjof , March 17, 2011 5:33 PM
    alidanin fact i could use 2tb of ssd as it stands, and who the hell can be satisfied with just 250gb of space. my applications i need run around 50-75gb, and my games run 20 gb each and 1gb or the older ones, i would fill 2 of these full for all i want to install on them.

    I have a large number of apps and games on my Windows 7 install and think I could easily manage with ~120GB nicely. All those all games I don't play anymore don't really need to be on my C drive. The same goes for all my documents and work. They're sat on a WD Green TB or archived on my NAS. I don't access them every day so they're just stored for future use. Do you really need the speed of a SSD to load up all those HTML files?

    Really you'd be better off with a SSD for the OS and your main apps and then some Western Digital Greens or Samsung Spoinpoints setup in RAID.
  • 0 Hide
    tavix , March 17, 2011 5:37 PM
    mayankleoboy1yay! soon the ssd can become as fast as ddr2 RAM


    Not a chance. The slowest DDR2-400 has a peak rate of 3200MB/s. Thats 3.2GB/s, hehehe!
  • 0 Hide
    bildo123 , March 17, 2011 7:46 PM
    mirror666supetreck are you crazy ? speed is not important but size is ? can you please tell me why you need a larger ssd than the current sizes of 250GB ? 250GB are more than enough for your OS, your apps AND your games. Now, if you have this notion that you want to store your mp3s or movies store the ssd, then i don't know what to say.


    That's actually the sweet spot I'm aiming for. A nice 250GB SSD, with these speeds for under $200, I'd buy that all day.