New SSD Power Supply System To Save Energy, Cost

We sure have seen a lot of advancements in the NAND Flash realm announced of late, and we suspect much of that has to do with the 2009 edition of the International Solid State Circuits Conference. The University of Tokyo and its partners unveiled a new power supply system for SSDs at that very conference, which promises to not only lower power consumption of NAND Flash memory within an SSD, but to also contribute to cost reduction.

More specifically, the system can supposedly work energy requirements down by around 33 percent, though it is intended for use only in so-called three-dimensional SSDs, in which components such as memory chips are three-dimensionally multilayered. The university has stated that reducing power consumption of NAND Flash has been exceedingly difficult, even in cases where the power supply voltage could be lowered. That trick seems to be effective for lowering power consumption of a memory cell, but it actually increases the power consumed by charge pumps for memory chips.

In order to sufficiently solve said quandary, members from the institution concocted a completely new power supply system utilizing a "boost converter." The new system is comprised of a power supply control circuit, a high voltage switch and a coil, and it features "higher output current as well as higher power efficiency compared with a system that uses charge pumps." Thus, it sucks down less energy and requires a smaller area to generate high voltage that's typically necessary for NAND Flash memory. In short, the new power supply system "using the boost converter can eliminate the need for charge pumps mounted on each of multiple NAND flash memory chips inside the SSD. As a result, power supply voltage of NAND flash memory can be reduced from current 3V to 1.8V, and its power consumption can be cut by about 68 percent."


As if the energy savings weren't fantastic enough, it's anticipated that this development will lead to cost reduction in SSDs, which is sorely needed. How so? Because chip areas of 40nm- to 30nm-generation NAND Flash memories can be sized down by 5 to 10 percent following the elimination of charge pumps. Too bad there's little hope for this to be implemented quickly into supply chains, but at least we've got progress to look forward to, huh?

Tags:  SSD, NAND, flash memory