SanDisk Hopes to End the Use of Microdrives

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SanDisk has introduced a new flash Storage device that it hopes will replace the use of embedded miniature hard drives in mobile devices.

“Embedded flash has quickly become a strong alternative to micro hard drives in consumer electronics products due to its decreasing cost-per-megabyte (MB) and increasing capacity points,” said Jeff Ellerbruch, director of consumer OEM marketing at SanDisk. “In addition, solid-state flash memory has many other advantages over rotating mechanical hard drives that include high performance, much lower power consumption, increased durability (no track skipping) and significantly smaller size and weight.”

One of the most important factors in this new format’s success will be price. Its developer says that the cost for 2 GB iNAND devices will be $95 in 10,000-lot quantities.

iNAND vs. Microdrives

SanDisk’s iNAND format is much, much smaller than a microdrive in a CompactFlash card. The new format is just 302.4 cubic millimeters, while the CF card is 7789.6 cubic millimeters.

iNAND uses less power when being used (75 milliAmps vs. 305 milliAmps) but uses more when in standby mode (150 microAmps vs. 16 microAmps).

It features 5 MB/sec. write and 9 MB/sec. read speeds and can stand up to shocks of 1,000 G when operating.

SanDisk iNAND is designed to run on the same bus as an SD card, making it straight forward to design into new products while also allowing easy design of products that support both embedded Storage and removable Flash card slots.

Pricing and Availability

SanDisk plans to release 1 GB and 2 GB iNAND versions before the end of this year, while a 4 GB version is planned for the first quarter of next year.

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