Flash Memory is quickly become the defacto standard for storing digital data. We will see a day when optical media and disc drives are long gone with only solid state flash memory serving up our digital dreams. Come splash in flash memory.
High end digital SLR cameras use two compact flash slots to record duplicate images during photo sessions. The idea is to provide a backup in the event the media goes bad, gets corrupted or the misplaced by the photographer.
It’s been reported a Japanese company, Wise, will offer a single CF card with mirroring capability with in it. So a 64GB card can mirror and act as two 32GB cards. Wise Compact Flash will have 64GB of storage, and 60MB/50MB read/write speeds. But switch it to mirroring mode, and those numbers drop to 32GB and 30MB/25MB, but all your photos will be mirrored for redundant storage, so two copies of the image will be saved on the card.
The controller used in the CF mirroring flash card will send images to a dual partitioned drive done at the controller level. When flash gets corrupted, it’s not the controller that created the fail, but the NAND memory cell sector not being stable, therefore streaming the images to a seperate partition decreases the likely hood of an image going bad during the record process, simply because the write happens twice to the card.
Should be exciting to see this product come to market and could pave the way for other flash memory devices to act the same way if the technology is well received and (of course) stable.
Source: Noritake Electronics.
In recent weeks the cost of flash memory has increased substantially. The commodity product, is for the most part, a stable consumable with pricing that fluctuations in single digit percentages. However, lately the price has increase between 10-30%. As with any product there are variables which contribute to price and the following information might help explain why flash memory is getting more expensive.
The two largest manufacturers of flash memory (NAND memory) are Samsung and Toshiba. These companies produce a wide variety of flash memory and the factories have various levels of quality for the output of their product.
Typically the high performance memory that gets the best test ratings is sold to large consumers like Apple, Nokia and HTC. As the ratings for the speed of the memory drop, these variants get pushed into the low-end market segments, such as flash drives and inexpensive MP3 players and other promotional gadgets.
In Q3 2012 Toshiba made an announcement they will reduce world wide production by 30%. Since this time, flash pricing has remained stable and has not decreased in cost.
With the on-going patent battles between Apple and Samsung the Cupertino based company made a decision to partner more closely with Toshiba then Samsung. This is a huge decision as traditionally Samsung has supplied Apple with all their flash memory product.
This shift in supplier relations has strained Toshiba as their capacity was reduced from their Q3 announcement back in 2012, and now their capacity must increase. The transition to get production lines up and running takes time and cannot be started immediately. So until Toshiba begins with more production capacity we will see continued shortages for flash memory products.
These types of major production changes typically happen every 24 months so it’s nothing new, and we’ll see the price go back down, but the time frame in which that happens could be as late as June or July.
Toshiba announced the launch of a new line CompactFlash (CF) memory cards, the Exceria Pro series, specifically targeting the DSLR (digital single less reflex) market. The new cards will be compatible with CF revision 6.0 and will offer performance even higher than XQD format, previously developed by Nikon and Sony and is a proprietary format.
The initial line-up of 16GB, 32GB, 64GB cards will come to market Q2 2013 and offer the world’s highest level read (up to 160MB/s) and write (up to 150MB/s) speeds. Exceria Pro will position Toshiba to meet the demands of the high-end DSLR market, including high resolution image capture, sustained continuous shooting, HD video recording and high speed data transfers to other devices.
Fully compliant with UDMA7 high speed interface anyone using with high speed DSLRs or video with VPG-20 standards will benefit from this increased speed format.
Interestingly the CF market is going to increase up to 50% between now and 2015. In addition, this might be the perfect high speed card to use with our previous post, the Nexcopy CF Duplicator.
LAKE FOREST, Calif.–Nexcopy Inc., a leading manufacturer in USB Duplicator solutions, announces their all new CF Duplicator system for data loading to Compact Flash cards.
“Coupling the power of Nexcopy’s Drive Manager software and the new CF duplicator design our system can handle any configuration requirement by contract manufacturers or fulfillment houses”
- CF Duplicator with all new design
- Deep CF sockets with guides for easy insert and removal
- CF Duplicator available in 15, 30 and 45 target systems
- Powerful duplicator software with many advanced features
- Unique data may be copied to each card
Nexcopy is announcing the all new design of our CF duplicator solutions. These robust and reliable CF duplicator systems are available in 15 socket, 30 socket and 45 socket configurations.
The new CF Duplicators by Nexcopy Company are designed with functionality and ergonomics in mind. With top loading CF sockets in combination with deep rail guides to easily insert and remove CF media the new system will virtually eliminate bent pins from high volume duplication of CF media.
“Coupling the power of Nexcopy’s Drive Manager software and the new CF duplicator design our system can handle any configuration requirement by contract manufacturers or fulfillment houses,” reports Greg Morris, President of Nexcopy. “The system is PC based and provides tools such as duplication from IMG files, unique data streaming to each socket, network connectivity and rich Graphical User Interface for performance feedback and log reporting.”
All CF duplicators can copy from an archive IMG file, from a physical master device and include binary bit by bit verification functions. These systems are ideal for bootable CF cards. The new CF Duplicators by Nexcopy.com are available for immediate purchase with a starting price of (more…)
If you have a Nook color or Nook tablet and have dreamed about hacking it into a full-on blown Android tablet, it’s actually possible!
Take things into your own hands with the latest release from the fellows over at Nook 2 Android. It’s a lesser known fact among its general user base that the devices run Android at their core. Even less apparent to the B&N crowd is that you can make those tablets boot and run a stock Android experience.
Previously limited to the Android 2.3 Gingerbread experience, Nook 2 Android (N2A) microSD cards now allow the aforementioned devices to boot directly to the same Android 4.1 Jelly Bean experience that comes with phones and tablets. Specifically, this is a Cyanogenmod port of Android, or the preferred stock UI and features that many modders prefer to employ. In a nutshell, these cards turn the e-readers/tablets into Android tablets, complete with widgets and access to Google Play.
If you own one of these two devices and wish to get in on the standard Android love, there are a number of options at your disposal. On one hand you can buy a microSD card already loaded with the bootable OS, with capacities ranging from 8GB ($29.99) up to 64GB ($69.99). On the other hand, you can opt for the $19.99 method which lets you download and install the image on your existing microSD cards. Note that not all cards and capacities may be supported. Whichever route you go, the process of booting to Android 4.1 is not far off!
Toshiba Corp. said Tuesday it has slashed production of NAND flash memory for use in USB drives and memory cards by about 30 percent at its plant in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture. It’s the first output cut for the device in about three years.
The electronics maker aims to work off inventory and see a recovery in the market amid falling prices for the memory devices due to oversupply.
Toshiba last reduced production of NAND flash memories after the 2009 financial crisis touched off a global economic downturn.
SanDisk is launching two new microSD memory cards today. They are officially called the “SanDisk Extreme Pro microSDHC UHS-I cards.” What makes them special? They let you capture photos and videos at up to 90 megabytes per second which is incredible fast for any application. And as for the read speeds, they’re slightly faster at 95 megabytes per second, which isn’t going to max out a USB 3.0 connection (625 megabytes per second) anytime soon, but it’s still incredibly impressive. The 8 GB card will cost $60, while the 16 GB card will go for $100. Both should be in stores quite soon, and if you can’t wait you can buy them straight from SanDisk’s website today.
GetUSB.info just posted a nice article on how to read the PSN from an SD card, or product serial number. Some also call this reading the CID number from an SD card. The CID number is a unique identifier number or serial number created on the SD or microSD media at the time of manufacturing. This is a number which cannot be changed or manipulated by the host computer.
The CID number is most often used for vendors or manufacturers to lock in software to a specific device. Since the CID number cannot be changed or modified, it’s a great way to prevent unauthorized distribution or content or software.
Some manufacturers require to read the CID number from SD media before the software is published and this is what GetUSB.info talks about. For a full description of the article, make the jump: How to read CID number from SD media.
Here is a snap shot of the CID reading tool for 20 SD devices:
Etron Technology has started shipping the company’s in-house developed 2- and 4-channel USB flash drive controller chips, and its single-channel ones are currently sampling with customers, according to the Taiwan-based IC design firm.
With a more complete product offering, Etron is looking to enter the world’s top-two in the field of USB 3.0 flash drive controller market in 2012, said the firm.
Etron indicated its EV268-series dual-core USB 3.0 flash drive controllers have been adopted by memory module vendors for their new products, which hit market shelves in March. The chip provides data transfer rates of more than 230MB/s and includes ECC checking, and supports SLC/MLC/TLC NAND flash memories built using 3Xnm and 2Xnm technologies.
The size of the global flash drive market is 80-100 million units a year, and the penetration rate for those with USB 3.0 will reach about 20% in the fourth quarter of 2012, Etron pointed out.
If the price gap between USB 2.0 drives and USB 3.0 ones is narrowed to less than US$2, consumers will be pretty much encouraged to purchase products with the faster, new interface, Etron said.
Etron specializes in specialty DRAM memory, and has been expanding its product mix. The firm previously introduced its USB 3.0 host controllers.
« Previous Entries
Toshiba announced this morning of mass production in 128Gbit NAND flash memory with three-bits-per-cell storage in 19nm process.
What this means is more storage space in a smaller area. The 128Gbit memory is only 170mm square.
The reduced size implies cost of manufacturing will go down, efficiency will go up. The down side is the TLC or three bit per cell, is less stable then two bits per cell like MLC or multi layer cell technology.
This isn’t a big concern for most users as the TLC flash will go into less important devices like USB flashdrives, MP3 players, phones and other hand held devices.
The more crucial technologies will remain with SLC or single layer cell or MLC, multi layer cell memory.
Toshiba and SanDisk share research and development and jointly invest in manufacturing.