Innodisk is working on iSLC NAND flash memory, a new technology that should dramatically improve the endurance of conventional MLC NAND flash memory chips. Whereas today's MLC NAND memory chips have an endurance of 3,000 - 5,000 program/erase cycles, Innodisk claims it has figured out a way to reach an endurance of 30,000 program/erase. The company's iSLC promises performance close to SLC flash memory, at a considerably lower cost. The first iSLC-based products from Innodisk are expected to arrive in the second quarter of 2013.
iSLC firmware technology reprograms the two bits per cell of MLC into one bit per cell, which increases the sensitivity delta between each level. This practice enables the NAND flash to perform similar to an SLC flash-based solution. The average endurance of iSLC can surpass 30 000 program/erase (P/E) cycles, which increases the lifespan of the drive over MLC flash by a multitude. Additionally, write performance for iSLC is about 70% faster than MLC on Serial ATA II, according to the company.
Innodisk has designed iSLC to perform as close as possible to SLC flash, with a price point similar to MLC flash-based products. This technological development offers a cost-effective way for industrial applications, such as kiosks and POS, to perform at a high capacity while still keeping a tight control on expenditures.