The second route into the PC for NAND flash is through the hybrid hard disk drive, Barnetson said.
The two companies have been working together on the idea since 2003. The two companies exhibited a hybrid hard drive (HHD) with a 1-Gbit OneNAND flash memory buffer interface at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in Seattle in April 2005.
The hybrid hard drive prototype uses the flash memory as both the write buffer and boot buffer allows the hybrid hard disk drive to cease spinning for large periods while the computer is on, with the computers processor provided with data from the non-volatile flash memory. Barnetson predicted that when commercially introduced hybrid hard drives would have a 2-Gbit OneNAND chip to provide 256-Mbytes of buffer memory.
Although Intel’s Viiv initiative and the Live! scheme of Advanced Micro Devices to introduce digital consumer multimedia boxes has also been touted as a stimulus for NAND memory sales Barnetson doesn’t think that will be so much inside the boxes, where DRAM may still be applicable, but in the medium of exchange between such units.
In the absence of secure home wireless internets Barnetson a digital rights management flash card would be the way to receive a video or set of songs and move them between living room, PC and cell phone, said Barnetson.
“A DVD quality video film compressed using MPEG-2, occupies in the 4-Gbyte range. But using MPEG-4 it comes down to the 1.5-Gyte range. Now a 1 or 2-Gbyte card costs less than $100 today pricey. But in 2007 the normal scaling of geometry should bring it below $50 and it starts to be affordable,” he said.
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. announced the development of a micro memory card with a 1-Gbyte density suitable for such applications earlier in February. Units are due to go on sale in the third quarter.