TechWorld reports Samsung is touting triple-level cell (TLC) NAND flash memory is a way to make fast solid state disks available to a wider audience. The new type of flash is slower than MLC and has a lower longetivity, but Samsung believes that MLC may be overkill for the needs for the average user. TLC is currently used in some memory cards and USB flash drives, as well as low-end eReaders and sat nav devices, but Samsung believes TLC might make the leap to mainstream gear at some point.
Samsung acknowledges the longevity and error issues, which can be partly solved through error correction and digital signal processing. But the company believes that MLC flash, the kind used in most laptops and tablets today, may be overkill for the needs of the average user. If TLC can keep working for however long a user keeps a machine, that machine may cost the consumer less, he said.
It's up to device makers to decide whether TLC is good enough, Smith added. Whether it can go the distance is a complicated question. A typical rule of thumb in the industry for laptop use is writing 20GB of data per day to the device, over a period of perhaps three years, he said. That includes files created or downloaded as well as temporarily cached web pages and other items.
Using that standard, "TLC is on the borderline unless some special error correction or signal processing gives you some margin," Wong said. But the 20GB rule may be more than the average user needs, he added. With tablets in particular, consumers tend not to create and store much content, though tablets typically have less flash capacity and therefore fewer cells to work with over the life of the product, Wong said.