Toshiba Memory America has introduced new built-in flash memory devices that use the UFS version 3.0 specification. Learn more about this announcement and the status of the built-in flash memory.
Last night, Toshiba Memory America introduced new flash memory devices for built-in flash memory. These devices are available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB versions that feature high read / write speeds and low power consumption. These features are increasingly in demand for designs such as mobile devices, smartphones, and virtual reality systems.
Let’s take a quick look at the concept of embedded flash memory, the specification that is being used, and how other companies are approaching flash memory.
What is built-in flash memory?
Flash memory is characterized by its ability to retain digital data even when the system power is completely off. The main disadvantage is that it is slower than RAM.
Built-in flash memory is just that – the memory is embedded within another chip, often a microcomputer or a system on a chip (SoC). It can serve any of a number of memory-related purposes within that chip, and that memory is generally not directly accessible to other chips via the host interface pins.
Flash memory is also used in solid state drives (SSDs) that are beginning to replace hard drives, with the main advantage that SSDs have no moving mechanical parts, making them inherently more rugged.
UFS version 3.0 specification
The UFS is a The JEDEC standard, which stands for Universal Frame System, and UFS version 3.0, which are compliant with Toshiba’s new memory devices, “are specifically designed for mobile applications and computing systems that require high performance and low power consumption.”
JEDEC, the Joint Electronic Device Engineering Council, is a global semiconductor industry group with members from some 300 companies. Develops open standards for the microelectronics industry, with a current emphasis on standards for flash memory and mobile memory.
96-layer BiCS FLASH 3D Flash Memory
Toshiba’s technology involves stacking memory cells vertically within the chip; In this case, 96 layers deep.
This arrangement “offers higher density, higher strength, higher performance and better energy efficiency,” according to Toshiba Memory America. Doug Wong. A key advantage is the ability to store up to four bits per cell in a vertical architecture with cells stacked vertically rather than spread out horizontally. This allows you to save on real estate on board.
3D memory Toshiba’s previous generation of 64-layer stacked memory. Image courtesy of Toshiba
The new Toshiba devices consist of the flash memory, the device and a controller that fits into a 11.5 x 13mm package. The controller performs error correction, wear leveling, logical to physical address translation, and bad lock management, simplifying designers’ ability to employ these devices.
Toshiba will sample the 128GB drives from January 23, 2019. The other two versions are expected to start rolling out in March this year.
The 3D flash memory landscape
Toshiba isn’t just on layered flash memory, but it seems to be the only manufacturer to have announced a 96-layered device so far.
- Samsung uses its 64-layer 3D flash memory devices on its solid state drives.
- SK Hynix Semiconductor is already shipping a 72-layer device and plans to sample a 96-layer unit in the second half of 2019.
- Intel and Micron announced the production and shipment of a 4-bit / cell 64-bit flash memory in May 2018. Work is underway on a 96-layer device.
- Yangtse Memory Technologies Company (YMTC) features its Xtacking architecture, whereby memory and controller elements exist on separate wafers.
Picture of YMTC
What would you like to learn about embedded flash memory? Let us know in the comments below.