Toshiba has just announced a new family of SLC (single-level cell) managed NAND Flash devices dubbed BENAND. The 24nm devices incorporate ECC so that the host processor need not perform that function, which saves time and simplifies the NAND Flash driver software. Another advantage of this managed-NAND device approach is that Toshiba is free to incorporate ever more advanced ECC capabilities in future Flash devices without changing the I/O protocol between the host CPU and the NAND device. It’s a much needed form of future proofing, especially in the embedded space where end products have very long life cycles.
Here’s a Toshiba graphic showing the difference between a system designed to use unmanaged NAND devices and one designed for managed NAND devices:
From the press release:
“Until now, the ECC has been embedded in the host processor and corrected 1 bit per 512 bytes. However, advances in memory process technology require enhanced error correction; more than 4 bit correction per 512 bytes for NAND flash fabricated with 32nm process. For NAND flash memory without ECC fabricated with 32nm and beyond, the controller in the host processor must be changed to secure the required level of correction.”