SSDs Might Just Get a Little More Solid: Write Wearing Fixed?

Subject: General Tech, Storage | December 5, 2012 - 10:01 PM |
Tagged: Macronix, ssd, enterprise ssd

I have not been too worried about my SSD failing due to excessive write-erase wear and tear. Typical flash cells fail somewhere between a few thousand write cycles with high endurance drives creeping over the ten-thousand cycle border. It is quite rare for me, like many home users, to write to my SSD outside of application updates or profile changes on my web browser.

Enterprise customers tend to hammer on drives quite a bit more ferociously, however. It will primarily be those customers who are most interested in news recently published with the IEEE: modifications to the integrated circuit holding the flash cells can be made to recondition dead NAND cells.

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SSDs have been able to be restored from write-erase degradation through excessive heating, think several hours at two-and-a-half times the sea-level boiling point of water. Clearly tossing SSDs in a range with your fries and chicken strips is not an ideal solution and would not be wise to recommend.

Macronix, the company who claims to have invented the technology based on research into competing Phase Change RAM (PCRAM), assert that their flash will survive at least ten-thousand times longer than enterprise NAND. Their integrated circuit has been designed to deliver extreme heat, 8-times the boiling point of water, local to the flash cell for a very brief time. The article boasts at least 100-million cycles because that was their point where their patience in testing the flash ended: the flash was still ready for more.

That said I do not claim to have too much knowledge about solid state flash so tune in for the December 5th PC Perspective Podcast for more discussion from smarter people. If you found this quick enough you could also tune in live just after this publishes!

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