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Archive for July, 2007

8GB IDE Flash Memory Module

Strip away the USB connector, slap on some plastic with IDE pins and create yourself an 8GB IDE flash drive.
ide flash memory
This configuration makes for some additional storage for embedded systems, medical instruments and crazy mods. Having the memory module connect via IDE is not new, but Transcend is now offering the largest size at 8GBs. Sizes trail off to 32MB. I can’t find 32MB USB flash drives so not clear on why such a small IDE flash module. Don’t the manufacturers use the same size silicon and limit the size via hard-coated code anyway. Continue Reading

SATA Interface for Compact Flash

With the recent announcement from The CompactFlash Association (CFA) to develop an SATA interface for CF memory is another positive sign that solid state memory for laptops and computers will become the normal. Despite the fact of Mr. Shigeto, chairman of the CFA board, indicates this move is to further solidify CompactFlash memory as the primary memory storage for non-consumer, embedded and single board products, I think the writing is on the wall for gaining a larger market share of the PC market.
sata compactflash
So what is the advantage of SATA interface? Speed. Currently the PATA specification is about 133MB/second and having SATA interface will greatly increase that speed(althogh no target speed was given – just “faster”). With CompactFlash card slots are in over 360 digital cameras, over 165 handheld/palm-size PCs and over 705 other electronic platforms including embedded systems, single board computers, data recorders, heart monitors, defibrillators, etc. the faster transfer speed will ensure performance to the user with out a bottle-neck of memory. Press Release: SATA Interface to Compact Flash Continue Reading

First Open Source Linux Cell Phone On Sale

Update: More info here The other day (literally) a fellow blogger and I where talking about why cell phones are so damn proprietary and if someone could develop a phone with the same open-source mindset as say WordPress (this blogging platform) than our world would be much better off. Well apparently I’ve been living under a rock.
open source cell phone
From OpenMoko comes the Neo 1973 open-source cell phone based off the Linux kernel.
We selected chips that have complete documentation publicly available, such as the ARM-based Samsung S3C2410 SOC. We added a debug port with complete access to JTAG and a serial console. This phone is designed for open-source development.
With a sporty 640×480 LCD that holds a beautiful 283 dpi the visual from the Neo 1973 should be amazing. Unlike the first version of the iPhone the Neo 1973 will have 128MB RAM with 64MB NAND flash and an expandable microSD slot (bonus 512MB card ships with the phone). So hackers, gadget hounds and side project guru’s I think this is worth a closer look. At just $300 – what a deal. This first run of release units is more geared towards developers so don’t expect any retail phones to hit BestBuy just yet. OpenMoko Neo 1973 home page Continue Reading

Flash Memory Inside the Apple iPhone

iphone flash memoryWe tried to escape the iPhone buzz, but recent information came to light after some folks unscrewed the iPhone to see what’s inside. This is what flash memory they found. The Apple iPhone flash memory is comprised of two technologies. NAND flash and NOR flash. Without knowing how Apple used these technologies we can easily conclude (without certainty) how the flash memory is being used. Since NAND flash memory is best suited for re-write and allows an operating system to view the flash memory as a hard drive type storage space, the iPhone most likely uses NAND memory to store MP3 files, photo’s, video and other ‘come-n-go’ files. The NOR flash memory is best suited for storing code where re-writes aren’t as frequent. NOR would be used for storing application information, such as web browser, OS, Viewer files and other ‘stable’ code which wouldn’t change too often. It was also reveled that Samsung is supplying Apple’s iPhone with the main microprocessor chip and NAND flash memory. Intel is supplying the NOR flash memory to the iPhone. Continue Reading
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