Update on mobile flash performance
Mikko Pitkanen over at the mobile development blog Delay ToleraNt posted some more tests on Nokia N800’s flash performance. He’s a doctoral candidate at the Helsinki Institute of Physics at CERN in Switzerland with a strong interest in storage.

The money quotes:

. . . the first observation is that we achieve write performance close to 1Mbit/s for small (less than 1 MB) files.

. . . the read performance is much better than for writing and is certainly enough to play movies. The write performance instead, is poor and would not allow the user to receive large files with the full bandwidth achievable by the device’s WLAN.

Mikko’s got a new Nokia N810 that he’s loving, so that will be it for the N800 data. Good data point. Mikko, if and when you get some N810 performance data please send it along. Thanks!

More flash high performance
Intel and Micron announced a very fast flash chip – 200 MB/s read and 100 MB/s write – but the press release included this big caveat:

“Micron looks forward to unlocking the possibilities with high speed NAND,” said Frankie Roohparvar, Micron vice president of NAND development. “We are working with an ecosystem of key enablers and partners to build and optimize corresponding system technologies that take advantage of its improved performance capabilities.

Translating from marketing speak: “nobody has the technology, like the translation layer, to take advantage of this chip.”

The StorageMojo take
Realizing flash’s potential will be a multi-year, multi-company effort. No one has a clear idea of what the ultimate limits will be. In the meantime the disk folks will be working to limit the damage by raising reliability, density and shock resistance. Both technologies have a place. The fight is about boundaries. And all of us consumers benefit.

Comments welcome, as always.