October 13, 2005 -- If you are a handset-chip architect, you have more choices than ever when it comes to picking a memory architecture for your next project. Users can go with tried-and-true methods using NOR for system booting or try their hands at designing a new architecture that boots with two of today's hybridized flash chips: Samsung's OneNAND and M-Systems' mDOC (mobile disk on chip).
The hybridized model promises to eliminate the pricey NOR device for high-end-system booting and to handle storage, too. In demand-paging architectures, it even promises to reduce the amount of RAM needed, thus reducing overall system power and cost.
But opponents say that implementing hybrid architectures is complex and error-prone. Intel, the current leader in the traditional NOR market, claims a system can make only so many "reads" from a NAND before losing data-storage integrity, which can ultimately lead to system failures, especially in demand-paging systems.
Experts say there are pluses and minuses to implementing any of the flash architectures, so users have to find the right balance of target market and user, features, unit cost, and design cost for their next designs.
By Michael Santarini, EDN Senior Editor
This brief introduction has been excerpted from the original copyrighted article.
View the entire article on the EDN Magazine website.