Solid-state drives are probably the best performance-oriented upgrade any computer can get these days – they are quiet, they are blistering fast, and run more efficiently than traditional hard drives. But there are also some little-known snags that they have to deal with, like failing bits, filled up pages and cells deteriorating over time. Usually it’s up to the SSD controller (Indilinx, SandForce, etc.) to make sure your drive keeps running healthy for a long while, but now Micron is trying to take some of the burden by embedding error correction in its flash memory chips.
The new ClearNAND memory modules come with a built-in 24-bit error correction engine and a conventional raw NAND interface. According to Micron, NAND flash technology is moving fast towards smaller manufacturing processes but it is also getting increasingly difficult to manage. By tightly coupling the error management with NAND chips in a single package, customers can take advantage of the highest capacity and lowest cost-per-bit flash memory solution. It also means your drive's host controller can just focus on getting your data delivered at faster speeds.
Initial ClearNAND products are designed using Micron’s 25nm multi-level cell (MLC) process and are available in two versions: Standard and Enhanced. The first comes in 8 to 32GB packages and is targeted at portable media players and other consumer electronic devices, while the latter provides enterprise-specific features for improved performance and reliability and is available in 16 to 64GB packages.