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Wednesday, May 16, 2012
STEC CellCare Technology Delivers Boost in 24 nm MLC NAND Flash Memory Endurance

STEC has validated its CellCare Technology's ability to extend the endurance of 24 nm consumer-grade multi-level cell (cMLC) NAND flash memory to 40,000 program/erase cycles.

This represents an increase of greater than 13 times the manufacturer's specified endurance metric of 3,000 program/erase cycles.

This is a significant advancement in one of the company's core technologies, as it provides for the development of a new generation of STEC's enterprise-class SSDs that utilizes low-cost cMLC NAND chips, while still achieving 10 full capacity random writes to the drive each day for five years, and data retention for three months (at 40C) - all with no degradation in performance. This equates to approximately 7.3 petabytes (PB) of data being written to a 400 GB SSD over the life of the drive.

"The results of the 24nm cMLC endurance testing, performed at our San Diego R&D center, are testimony that the solid flash management algorithms and digital signal processing/ error correction code within our patented CellCare Technology bring true enterprise-class capabilities to consumer-grade flash memory," said Pablo Ziperovich, STEC's Vice President, Flash Channel Development. "We have now tested the use of lower-cost 24 nm cMLC NAND with our CellCare Technology to withstand the rigorous workload environments of enterprise storage applications?specifically, to provide for 40,000 program/erase cycles."

After applying STEC's CellCare Technology in combination with its fourth-generation ASIC-based SSD controller, STEC engineers performed a series of JEDEC - standard tests, including a program/erase endurance and data retention stress test; a stress-test-driven qualification of integrated circuits; and a SSD requirements and endurance test.

Results of the endurance testing are outlined in the table below:

CellCare Technology is a proprietary combination of hardware and firmware working together to improve MLC flash performance and endurance throughout the life of the drive. Key endurance-extending features of this patented technology include:

- Flash parameter tracking per die, which delivers reduced and controlled wear;
- Flash management through the lifetime, which delivers reduced wear, controlled performance, improved performance, and lower write/read latency;
- Advanced error correction with digital signal processing to improve data reliability and require a minimum of re-reads.

CellCare Technology is embedded in STEC's full line of MLC NAND-based enterprise-class solid-state solutions, including its PCIe solid-state accelerators, ZeusIOPS SAS SSDs, and MACH16 SATA SSDs. STEC's 24 nm cMLC NAND flash-based SSDs are currently in development and testing, with production anticipated for later this year.

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