SAN JOSE, Calif. Jedec, the standards group best known for its work on DRAM interfaces, has formed a new group to set standards for solid-state disks that use NAND flash chips. The JC-64.8 subcommittee is chartered to develop standards for solid state drives used for embedded or removable memory storage leveraging the existing storage infrastructure.
The group, co-chaired by Alvin Cox of Seagate and Scott Graham of Micron, had its first meeting in May. It was formed after exploratory meetings in August 2007 and a survey of storage industry companies.
The committee will define "new form factors leveraging existing interface standards (command protocols and electrical interfaces), mechanical interconnects, environmental aspects, and electrical quality, reliability and durability methods and procedures that are not included in the interface standards," according to a statement released by Jedec. It aims to work with related Jedec committees as well as groups defining mass storage standards including the Serial ATA International Organization, the USB 3.0 group and others, the statement said.
The news comes at a time when two Intel-led groups are developing interface standards for flash memory chips and flash controllers aimed at addressing the needs for flash disks. The Non-Volatile Memory Host
Controller Interface Working Group (NVMHCI) was announced in April 2008 and the Open NAND Flash Interface group (ONFI) was announced in May 2006.
Membership in the new Jedec group is still open. "The industry needs to adopt more comprehensive standards for solid state drives to accelerate global acceptance of SSD products at optimal performance levels, for the greatest benefit to consumers," said Mian Quddus, chairman of the Jedec board in a prepared statement.
The news comes on the heels of an announcement by Samsung and Sun Microsystems that they have collaborated on development of a new 8 Gbit single-level-cell (SLC) design for flash drives in computer servers that they claim increases the number of read/write cycles for NAND flash memory chips five-fold. Other companies such as startup Fusion IO and Hewlett Packard are collaborating on flash controller designs.
International Data Corp. projects as many as 2.2 million solid state drives could ship by 2012 to create a $900 million market. That market today is estimated at about $260 million.