For consumer products, thin is in and NAND Flash is the prescription

References to supermodel Kate Moss aside, the recent Wired Magazine article by Christina Bonnington titled “Future of computing looks thinner” has a distinctly EDA360 tone to it. NAND Flash memory tends to have a slimming effect on the products it inhabits as it drives out electromechanical hard and optical disks. The floppy disk was driven out long ago, which helped to start the weight-loss process. Bonnington writes “as storage migrates toward online servers, and media is more likely to be streamed rather than viewed from a DVD or Blu-ray disc, many of those onboard features are shrinking down, or getting nixed altogether.”

“Consumers are favoring size and portability over a heftier ‘do-it-all’ type machine.”

Although NAND Flash memory appears in smartphones and tablets as storage tied directly to the main SoC, in PCs it appears as a direct disk replacement—usually connected to the motherboard chipset via a SATA connection. This sort of disk emulation is inherently inefficient and forces the installed Flash to emulate the bit bottleneck of a hard disk or optical disk read/write head. But NAND Flash memory can be as parallel as you want it to be.

So the drive to “thin” will eventually create a drive to performance as PC chipsets specifically designed for a Flash-only storage environment increasingly take on the management of that Flash memory to eke out maximum performance. It’s all there in the EDA360 concept of System Realization.


About sleibson2

EDA360 Evangelist and Marketing Director at Cadence Design Systems (blog at
This entry was posted in EDA360, SoC Realization, System Realization and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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