SST announces small ATA solid-state storage devices

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Oct 26 -- Silicon Storage Technology Inc. (SST) announced this week new ATA (AT Attachment) solid-state storage devices that the company claimed were the industry’s smallest. The technology gives mobile and embedded system designers an easy way to adopt a NAND flash data storage solution, the company said Monday.

By leveraging SST's NAND controller technology, its multi-chip packaging expertise, and the industry-standard ATA/IDE interface, SST's NANDrive device manages NAND flash complexities and allows designers to quickly integrate this mass data storage solution into their designs without having to make any firmware changes, SST said. NANDrive is compatible with all mobile, embedded and desktop operating systems that support an ATA interface, it added.

NANDrive uses a standard embedded OS (operating system) software stack, which removes the need for embedded system designers to do host software revalidation cycles, SST said. In contrast, other solutions in the market require changing host side vendor-specific software to support new NAND flash devices. Additionally, with existing solutions, when NAND flash devices migrate to new process geometries, new NAND controllers are needed, resulting in increased inventory exposure, SST added.

SST's NANDrive offers customers a compact and rugged storage alternative, a significant requirement in today's mobile applications, said SST a memory products vendor in Sunnyvale, California. SST's mass data storage solution uses a fraction of the power that hard disk drives require, while maintaining high performance, it added.

To provide system designers a wide range of storage capacities and easy upgrade, SST will offer NANDrive in three form factors, all with the same common ball layout, the company said. The first form factor introduced is the "micro-NANDrive" with dimensions of 12mm x 18mm x 1.4mm, which will initially accommodate 128 MByte (megabyte) to 512 MByte storage capacities. SST will introduce the other two form factors and their storage capacities in future announcements, the company said.

The NANDrive is a high-performance mass data storage solution with sustained read and write rate of up to 30MB/sec (megabyte-per-second), according to SST. The performance of NANDrive meets all application needs for mobile multimedia devices, such as MP3 players, video streaming devices, camcorders, cameras and GPS navigation systems, SST said. The NANDrive is designed to maximize the performance of various vendors' NAND flash devices by optimizing hardware and firmware for each NAND device, it added. SST's hardware 8-bit ECC engine and its firmware programmable multi-tasking NAND interface helps solve the slow performance problem that is typical when using lower cost multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash, SST said.

The NANDrive offers users several advanced security protection features, according to SST. Users seeking content protection can take advantage of NANDrive's 20-Byte serial ID number for data encryption. The device also offers up to four protection zones that customers can use to store boot code that typically would be included in a separate discrete device. By using the NANDrive device to store boot code, system designers can eliminate the use of certain discrete devices, thus reducing the bill of materials, SST said. Additional security features within the NANDrive include a write-protect pin for virus prevention, password protection and a purge command, SST added.

The 128MB micro-NANDrive, SST85LD0128, is currently sampling. SST expects the micro-NANDrive to be in full production in February next year. Pricing for the 128 MB micro-NANDrive starts at US$13.50 in 10,000 unit quantities, it added.


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