Sandisk had two new announcements at MWC and two items that were not press-release worthy, and yes they were all were flash-based. There were two SD cards of note, one SSD, and a shiny wafer.
The first new bit is the iNAND Extreme embedded SSD, something SemiAccurate first showed you over three years ago. The iNAND is a phone and tablet oriented SATA SSD, effectively an SSD on a chip. Now upgraded to Extreme status at Sandisk, the new device is an e.MMC 5.0 compatible chip with up to 300/80MBps R/W speeds. Raw speeds for such devices tend to be limited by the interface so Sandisk focused elsewhere.
iNAND Extreme demo showing the latency reductions
These new devices aren’t actually faster in raw bandwidth, as you can see they lose to the unnamed competitor on that front. More important is latency, the place where Sandisk focused their effort. Dual controllers, dual channel memory bumps the capacity to 64GB but it also takes a massive chunk off average latencies. If you don’t understand why this is at least as important as bandwidth, you probably should play with something shiny rather than wasting your time reading.
Next up was something that is about as photogenic as a modern GPU release, a new high-capacity microSD card. Updates to their packaging techniques allowed Sandisk to stack 16 8GB flash die, that is 128GB for those of you not doing the math. Sandisk claims to be the first to hit this target and SemiAccurate hasn’t seen anything that contradicts that claim. If you want a massive UHS-1 microSD card, you know who to ask, just don’t expect it to look different.
Rainbows shine heralding 19nm flash wafers
Rather than licensing a few dancing bronies for their booth, Sandisk had to make do with simple rainbows to show off their process tech. What you see above is a 19nm flash wafer from the Sandisk/Toshiba fab, but sadly no capacities were mentioned. We expect the dies to start out at around 8GB and go up to 16GB in the not so distant future. Yay progress.
Last up is another photogenic disaster that Sandisk calls the Ultra miniDrive, complete with annoying but otherwise pointless capitalization. Take an SD card, lop the top 2/3rds of it off, and put a flexible plastic pull-tab where the top of the card used to be. Why? Because the new Macs have an SD slot that leaves a bit of the card hanging out so if you leave your SDs in the slot, you could break it. Yes, Sandisk designed a card to protect barely self-aware but fashionable computerati from breaking bits off their shiny toys. I wonder if the package comes with a warning on how not to choke to death on the device while puzzling out how to insert it. Sigh, lawyers.S|A
Have you signed up for our newsletter yet?
Did you know that you can access all our past subscription-only articles with a simple Student Membership for 100 USD per year? If you want in-depth analysis and exclusive exclusives, we don’t make the news, we just report it so there is no guarantee when exclusives are added to the Professional level but that’s where you’ll find the deep dive analysis.
Latest posts by Charlie Demerjian (see all)
- Qualcomm outs the Snapdragon 765 and 865 - Dec 3, 2019
- Chris Hook and Heather Lennon leave Intel - Nov 27, 2019
- Information about the recent chip company reorg surface - Nov 26, 2019
- When is the 64-core Threadripper 3 due out? - Nov 26, 2019
- Decoding Intel’s Customer Supply Update letter - Nov 25, 2019