New 1V NAND Drive Method Could Lead To Enhanced SSD Write Speeds

Solid state storage producers have been preaching about a few select points for years, particularly on why they're superior to traditional hard drives. Reliability and speed are the two obvious ones, but many SSD makers suggest that these Flash-based drives are more power efficient than HDDs as well. But as always, someone in the world doesn't think that existing SSDs are power efficient enough, and that's why a group over in Japan is currently attempting to develop a technology to make a NAND Flash memory module whose "drive voltage is as low as 1V and power consumption is 86% lower than existing NAND flash memories."

The researchers lowered the drive voltage of a NAND Flash memory module (one that uses a ferroelectric substance) from 3V to 1V. It has been known that the voltage of a ferroelectric NAND could be reduced by lowering the drive voltage of the core circuit more than that of existing NAND flash memories, and they're discovering that even when the drive voltage is lowered to around 1V, there's "no need to drastically increase the number of the steps of the charge pump circuit (boost circuit); therefore, the increase in the power consumption of the charge pump circuit is small."

It's all pretty technical in nature, but the short of it is that these researchers finally developed a new writing method to join this other work, one called the "Single-cell Self-boost method." Basically, this flips off "two cells adjacent to the unchosen cells by applying a voltage of 1V from both ends of the bit line connected to the unchosen cells so that the channel of the unchosen cells is in the state of floating." According to the estimates of the group, the power consumption of the ferroelectric NAND capable of being driven at 1V is 86% lower than that of the existing 1.8V-driven NAND flash memory. In the end, this could also lead to enhanced writing speeds as well, but honestly, all of this research seems a long ways out from being passed on to the commercial realm. Still, we knew that SSD adoption seemed to be on the rise, and things like this will only help separate SSDs from HDDs in the long run.