TDK Announces CFG8A U.DMA 6 CompactFlash, SDG8A Parallel ATA SSD

TDK Corporation announced that it will begin sales in December 2008 of the CFG8A series of U.DMA 6-compatible CompactFlash (CF) cards and the SDG8A series of Parallel ATA (PATA) compatible solid state drives (SSD) for industrial applications with a maximum capacity of 16 GByte. These products combine the original GBDriver RA8 U.DMA 6-compatible NAND Flash memory controller and a high-speed, high-frequency write single level cell (SLC) NAND Flash memory to create the industry’s most advanced NAND Flash module that achieves high-speed performance, durability, and high reliability on a higher level.

In addition to high-speed access featuring read access speeds up to 50 MB/sec and write access speeds up to 30 MB/s, these products include a robust error correction function scalable to 15 bit/sector ECC to provide high data reliability. Bit errors that can occur when reading data repeatedly and the risk of data loss from a power interruption when data is being written are minimized, making these high-reliability CF cards and SSDs optimal for industrial and embedded applications.

An advanced static wear leveling function developed by TDK is also included to equalize data writing to all memory areas of the Flash memory, greatly increasing the write life span of the CompactFlash cards and SSDs. The SMART (Self-Monitoring & Analysis Reporting Technology) has also been enhanced. SMART data unique to TDK on the number of erased times of each memory block can be obtained, making possible quantitative system evaluation and facilitating operation and management.

Main Features

1. TDK GBDriver RA8 NAND Flash Memory Controller ICs Developed by TDK
The memory controller ICs, which determine the performance and data reliability of CompactFlash and SSD, are the GBDriver RA8 series developed by TDK. By reflecting the latest NAND Flash memory specifications and developments in the controller design, TDK enhanced performance as NAND Flash drives and ensured compatibility among Flash memory generations. This means that the same product line can meet the Flash storage needs of industrial and embedded applications and make suitable proposals for enhanced replacement products.

2. SLC Flash Memory
By incorporating high-speed, durable SLC NAND, TDK created CompactFlash cards and Flash memory drives optimal for industrial and embedded applications that require high-speed data write access and high-frequency data writing. Upon request, CF cards and Flash discs with multi-level cell (MLC) Flash memory are also available.

3. High-Speed Access
Compatible with PIO modes 0 – 6, Multiword DMA modes 0 – 4, and Ultra DMA modes 0 – 6. These high-speed NAND storage devices support read access speeds up to 50 MB/sec and write access speeds up to 30 MB/sec.

4. Static Wear Leveling Function for All Blocks
A new static wear leveling algorithm created by TDK counts the number of erased times data of each memory block for whole memory blocks. Fixed blocks such as OS and FAT areas are also periodically averaged to maximize the life span on onboard Flash memory, dramatically enhancing the re-write life span of Flash memory storage.

5. Improved Power Interruption Tolerance
An original algorithm completely prevents collateral errors such as corruption of data other than the data being written if power is interrupted when writing data.

6. Error Correction and Recovery
The use of 8 bit/sector ECC and 15 bit/sector ECC to provide error correction capabilities with room to accommodate future NAND Flash Memories. The controller independently selects 8 bit/sector ECC or 15 bit/sector ECC. An auto-recovery function is also included to correct bit errors automatically when reading data repeatedly (read-disturbance errors).

7. Other Functions

  • Total Cluster Number-Setting Function
    The number of logical blocks allocated to a data area can be customized. For example, the number of times data can be written in Flash memory can be increased by reducing the number of logical blocks in the data area. Conversely, in the case of applications that do not require an extended life span, the memory capacity can be maximized by increasing the number of logical blocks in the data area. The CHS can be set to any value, which facilitates introduction with existing systems.
  • Protection (Password) Function
    Incorporation of an ATA-standard protection function allows customers to set and remove a password to protect important data.
  • SMART Command Support
    The number of times data is written (and erased) in all memory blocks can be confirmed by using SMART command, which allows for easy determination of the NAND Flash memory status and facilitates appropriate management.

8. Solution Support
TDK has independently developed and marketed the TDK GBDriver series of NAND Flash memory controllers ICs since 2000 and provides technical support to customers in Japan and overseas backed up by its advanced technologies including dispatch of field application engineers and implementation of reliability monitoring functions, for which there is strong demand in the embedded system market.

Production and Sales Plan

  • Production location: Taiwan
  • Production capacity: 10,000 units/month (at start of production)
  • Start of production: December 2008

TDK Corporation
TDK Corporation (TSE: 6762; NYSE: TDK) is a leading global electronics company based in Japan. It was established in 1935 to commercialize “ferrite,” a key material in electronics and magnetics. TDK’s current product line includes ferrite materials, electronic components and ICs, wireless computer networking products, magnetic heads for HDD, digital recording hardware and advanced digital recording media.