MOSAID announced that the company is sampling a 333GB/s 512Gb HLNAND. According to MOSAID the devices packages: “16 industry standard 32Gb NAND Flash die with two HLNAND interface devices to achieve 333MB/s output over a single byte-wide HLNAND interface channel. Conventional NAND Flash MCP designs cannot stack more than four NAND dies without suffering from performance degradation, and would require two or more channels to deliver similar throughput.”
Think of this as a lower-cost NAND version of the Hybrid Memory Cube, which packages specialized DRAM using thousands of through-silicon vias (TSVs) atop a specialized interface. Both approaches use a custom logic chip to quickly move data across a point-to-point interface with the processor.
There were a couple of surprises with this announcement: First that it was made by MOSAID even though the company was acquired by Sterling Partners late last year. It would seem that the announcement would have borne the acquirer’s name.
Second, the press all remarked that the device was innovative since it was a 16-die NAND stack. This is not new! Samsung has been shipping 16-die NAND stacks for a couple of years now. Although it’s not an economical package, it’s in production.
MOSAID first introduced the HLNAND architecture in 2007. The Memory Guy has never fully understood how HLNAND fit in with the rest of MOSAID’s business. For the most part MOSAID has become a licensor and acquirer of IP, a departure from its origins as a chip design consultancy. It is unusual (but not unheard of) for such a company to champion an industry standard and to do much R&D on its own.
Either way, this is an impressive device with compelling throughput. Here’s a wish for MOSAID to successfully create a market for this technology.