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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

70 Mini-Games for PSP from HotPXL

hotpxl
For the guys in Europe and Australia who already have a copy of HotPXL handy, we’ve got something for you. The game’s official site is announcing they’ve just released a download pack containing 70 extra mini-games for your playing pleasure. This is how you make the grab:
  • Download the zip file “HotPixel_70OnlineGames_PSP” (15.1 MB)
  • Connect the PSP via USB cable to your PC and select USB Mode on your PSP Menu
  • Check that you have a memory stick with enough space available (15.1 MB)
  • Unzip the file “HotPixel_70OnlineGames_PSP.zip”, it contains the folder “ULES00642DOWNLOAD”
  • Copy the folder “ULES00642DOWNLOAD” in the folder “PSP/SAVEDATA” of the PSPâ„¢ memory stick
  • Launch HOT PIXEL and in the main menu select “WWW PLAYLISTS” or “WWW GAMES”
That’s the latest update from Atari and zSlide’s minigame for the PSP. More details should be available in the read link below (the Hot PXL site). Hot PXL for North America is expected to land later on this year. Continue Reading

Blackberry File Explore Utility – Free

Having trouble accessing files on your microSD card from the Blackberry 8800 or 8100 Series? The MultiPlay utility can help.
file utility reader
The MultiPlay utility gives you the ability to access files on your Blackberry. It’s a utility that can function as an entertainment, productivity and system application suite. Free to download and use! Features:
  • Media Player module – can play media files, create and play playlists.
  • vNotes module – can create voice memos and save to memory.
  • txtNotes module – can create ASCII text files and save to card storage. Also can save/retrieve notes to/from memopad application
  • File Explorer module – can manage the blackberry file system by copy, move, rename and deleting files, view properties, create folders.
Continue Reading

Intel Heads Nonvolatile Memory Org

NVMHCI intelThe Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interface (NVMHCI) Working Group, as it’s being called, will be chaired by Intel and will provide a standard software programming interface for nonvolatile memory subsystems. The group says the interface will be used by operating system drivers to access NAND flash memory storage in the applications such as hard drive caching and solid-state drives. Today, PCs already use this technology; “ReadyBoost” is what Microsoft calls its Vista disk caching technology that makes computers running the OS more responsive by using flash memory on a USB 2.0 drive, SD card, or other forms of flash memory. There are two main types of flash memory today, NAND and NOR gate chips. The former was developed by Toshiba a year after Intel debuted its NOR flash. NOR is typically used for code storage inside of cell phones and other devices, while NAND flash is used to store data inside of MP3 players and other devices. Continue Reading

What is HDD Flash Technology?

One year ago, almost to the day, IOCell introduced the self proclaimed “World’s largest capacity flash drive” at the CeBIT 2006 show. Today, you can find 16GB flash drives from Transcend, US Modular and Pretec, so why is the Buffalo 16GB announcement of interest? Well, it uses Silicon HDD Technology. Silicon hard drives are different then normal hard drives in that no magnetic discs are present, rather the data is stored in silicon memory. How the silicon (HDD) hard drive works is by heating up the silicon via a microscopic probe, this probe maneuvers around the silicon area by an actuator and instantly heats the silicon to 600 degrees Celsius. So if an area is heated that is a zero, if the area is cool and crystallized it’s a one; thus binary code. Sounds complicated but put into perspective a CD uses 500 nanometers of red laser to read and write, and thus holds about 800MBs of data. Compare that to a microscopic probe at about 20 nanometers (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter) and you can store a Terabit of data in about one-square-inch. Now, we begin to understand the importance of Buffalo’s announcement. This is the first drive using Silicon technology to achieve 16GBs. If you think this is crazy technology then you might be interested in the 50 Terabyte flash drive made of protein. Continue Reading

12% of HHDs in Laptops Will Be Flash Memory by 2009

Analysts at iSuppli Corp indicate that 12 percent of hard drives in laptops will be flash memory come 2009. I think that’s low. Notebook PC shipments rose to 21.8 million units during the first quarter of 2007 – that was a 23% jump, much higher then expected. With computer manufacturers trying to keep margins high laptop sales have become the major push. As laptops become more common as the primary computer driving down energy expense while increasing battery life makes flash memory the chosen technology for HHD storage.
laptop flash memory
Couple the move to flash with new technologies like stackable NAND flash not only will storage capacities continue to increase, but cost will drop and physical size will drop. iSuppli expects over 40% of computer sales in 2007 to be in the laptop form-factor with HHD configurations to be that of hybrid HDD drives.
“The penetration of HHDs in notebooks will rise more quickly in the near term than for solid-state drives, given that HDD vendors are increasing both the capacity and real density of their notebooks in 2007 and beyond,” Chander added. “Furthermore, HHDs cost less to produce and offer a level of data integrity that can only be delivered by tried-and-true HDD technology.”
Continue Reading

More On The miCard

As things unfold for the miCard today we find a picture of the first [actual] product.
micard
Here we see the Pretec S-Diamond miCard which is the new memory card standard from the MMC Association. The new format is expected to house anywhere from 128MB to 2TBs! Measuring only 21mmX12mmX1.95mm, miCard is the smallest USB flash drive in the world, with an area 40% smaller than miniSD (volume is about 18% smaller than miniSD). miCard can also be an SD/MMC card with an inexpensive adapter. The specification of miCard should be able to be released to MMCA members later this year. S-Diamond is the 2nd generation of Pretec i-Disk Diamond series, which has been the smallest USB flash drive for years, which can now also serve as an SD/MMC card, saving not only consumers cost, but also saving hassles by getting rid of card readers and carrying multiple flash cards in different form factors. Continue Reading

New NAND Flash Technology Using Stackable Approach

Toshiba might be on to something with their development of a new three dimensional memory cell array structure that enhances cell density and data capacity without relying on advances in process technology. All this with minimal increase in chip size.
toshiba nand memory
The new structure design reflects pillars of stacked memory elements passing vertically through multi-stacked layers of electrode material and utilize shared peripheral circuits. The design is a potential candidate technology for meeting future demand for higher density NAND flash memory. Typically, advances in memory density reflect advances in process technology, but Toshiba’s approach isn’t necessarily the case. Toshiba’s new approach is based on innovations in the stacking process, not manufacturing process. Existing memory stacking technologies simply stack two-dimensional memory array on top of another, repeating the same set of processes.
stack flash memory design
While this achieves increased memory cell density, it makes the manufacturing process longer and more complex. The new array design from Toshiba does increase memory cell density, is easier to fabricate, and does not require increase in chip area, as peripheral circuits are shared by several silicon pillars. Toshiba said that it will further develop this elemental technology to the level where it matches current structures in terms of security and reliability. So nothing concrete yet, but well on the way with Toshiba’s announcement and commitment to fine-tuning this approach. With computer hard drives starting to go NAND based, there is a lot at stake. Continue Reading

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