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Flash Memory Controller:Development of the GBDriver RA9 Series of NAND Flash Memory Controller LSI for Industrial Use

  • Highly reliable parallel ATA-compatible controller IC with auto refresh function
  • Support for SLC NAND flash memories with a maximum capacity of 64 GByte
Flash Memory Controller:Development of the GBDriver RA9 Series of NAND Flash Memory Controller LSI for Industrial Use

Nov. 14, 2016

TDK Corporation today announced its development of the GBDriver RA9 Series of NAND Flash Memory Controller IC for parallel ATA connection. Sales are scheduled to commence in January 2017.

For industrial applications, there is still considerable demand for the parallel ATA interface. In particular for applications requiring reliability, the GBDriver RA9 is specially designed for SLC NAND flash memories.
To support the SLC NAND flash memory structures of 8, 4 and 2 KBytes per page including the latest 2x-nm generation, it is possible to construct storage systems with a wide range of capacities from 128 MBytes to 64 GBytes. It is available in two different package options: a 128-pin TQFP package and a 121-pin VFBGA package.

The random access performance of the GBDriver RA9 improves drastically in comparison with the TDK’s conventional GBDriver RA8 Series.

The GBDriver RA9 is capable of performing ECC correction of up to 30-bit errors per 512 bytes, which is twice as high as that of TDK’s conventional GBDriver RA8 Series. In addition, it has a newly added auto refresh function for enhanced data reliability, even when used in combination with SLC NAND flash memories. Including GBDriver’s data maintenance algorithm in the event of power interruption, which is highly regarded by customers, it features massively improved data reliability.

Apart from this, it incorporates an advanced static wear leveling algorithm. Counting the number of times each memory block is programmed (erased) and replaces all blocks uniformly, it helps maximize the life spans of the memories. The number of times of erasing the memory blocks may be acquired as part of the self-monitoring & analysis reporting technology (SMART) information. That facilitates the quantitative life span management of flash storage devices.
It also has multiple data security functions including ATA security functions and TDK’s original security functions to provide robust protection from data falsification and leakage.

TDK will be successively commercializing Compact Flash (CF) cards and parallel ATA SSDs incorporating the newly developed GBDriver RA9 from April 2017 onwards.

This product will be on display in the TDK booth at the IoT Technology 2016 exhibition, which will take place at Pacifico Yokohama on November 16-18, 2016.

Main applications
  • Digital cameras, video camera, smart TVs, set-top boxes (STBs), satellite broadcast tuners for CS broadcasts and other audiovisual equipment
  • Tablets, netbooks, mobile Internet devices (MIDs), ultra-mobile personal computers (UMPCs) and other mobile information terminals, thin client PC, RAID SSDs and other IT equipment and cloud computing systems
  • Automotive navigation systems, portable navigation devices (PNDs), digital tachographs, data loggers, dashboard cameras, rear view monitors and other automotive equipment
  • Office equipment such as multi-function printers (MFPs), commercial projectors, telephone conferencing systems, and electronic blackboards
  • Amusement devices such as karaoke on demand, arcade games, and game consoles
  • Advertising display equipment such as digital signage, electronic billboards, and electronic point-of-purchase (POP) displays
  • Factory automation equipment such as semiconductor manufacturing equipment, NC machine tools, sequencers, programmable logic controllers, panel computers, and embedded CPU boards
  • Railway and transport equipment such as automated ticket gates, automated ticket vending machines, commuter pass vending machines, train operation management systems, automated air ticket vending machines, and automated check-in systems
  • Cashless registers and other point-of-sales (POS) equipment, convenience store and kiosk terminals, ATMs and other banking terminals
  • Medical and measuring instruments and nursing care equipment such as diagnostic imaging systems, blood analysis equipment, medical PCs, electronic patient records systems, DNA microarray systems, automatic biochemistry analyzers, remote medical care devices, and automated care devices
  • Base station equipment for 4th generation (4G) mobile data communication systems such as LTE-Advanced/WiMAX2 and other communications and broadcasting equipment and information system devices
  • Smart grid equipment such as smart electricity meters, power grid infrastructure equipment, automated power equipment control systems, energy management systems, and building air conditioning systems
  • Security and surveillance equipment such as biometric authentication systems, entry/exit control systems, and security terminals for surveillance cameras Disaster prevention related equipment such as earthquake early warning systems and household fire detectors
Main features
  1. Host Interface
    The GBDriver RA9 is compatible with PIO 0-6, Multiword DMA 0-4 and Ultra DMA 0-6 and supports a read speed of up to 50 MBytes per second and a write speed of up to 30 MBytes per second, depending on the flash connection configuration and the system environment.
  2. Supported Flash Memories
    The GBDriver RA9 supports SLC (1 bit per cell) NAND flash memories of all vendors in the structures of 2, 4 and 8 KBytes per page to pave the way for NAND storage systems ranging from 128 MBytes to 64 GBytes.
  3. Global Static Wear Leveling
    TDK's proprietary global static wear leveling algorithm counts the number of times each memory block is programmed (erased) and replaces all blocks uniformly. Static blocks such as for the OS are also periodically leveled, which drastically improves the lifespan of the installed flash memory. The range for static wear leveling can be freely set. (In this case, dynamic wear leveling is used for other areas.)
  4. Power Interruption Tolerance Algorithm
    The GBDriver RA9 utilizes a proprietary algorithm that reduces the risk of collateral errors, such as the destruction of data other than those being written at the time of a power interruption during the data writing process.
  5. Error Correction and Recovery
    With a flash identification function selecting either 15-bit ECC or 30-bit ECC, the GBDriver RA9 boasts an error correction capability that is higher than the value required from NAND flash memories.
    The auto refresh function reads all the data on the flash memory areas, including those where data are rarely read out, and performs automatic error correction as required to prevent data losses caused by read disturb errors, data holding errors and other errors. The auto refresh function is performed in the background so that it causes little delay in the response to commands, even during the correction process.
  6. Other Functions
    • (a) Function for setting the total number of sectors (clipping function)
      The number of logical sectors assigned to the data region may be increased or decreased in units of a single sector.
    • (b) Protection function
      The GBDriver RA9 provides the ATA standard protection function that allows users to set and remove a password. It enables the independent authentication and protection of important data.
    • (c) TDK’s original security function (optional)
      This function restricts third parties from reading users’ data stored on NAND flash memories.
      (This function requires a separate non-disclosure agreement.)
    • (d) Support for SMART commands
      With the use of SMART commands, it is possible to retrieve data on the number of overwrites (erases) in all memory blocks. This means that it is easy to understand the state of flash memory, and that it is possible to perform appropriate lifespan management.
  7. Solution Support
    TDK has independently developed and marketed the GBDriver series of NAND type flash memory controllers since 2000. We provide technical support to customers in Japan and overseas backed up by advanced proprietary technologies, including dispatch of field application engineers and support for implementation of reliability monitoring functions, for which there is strong demand in the industrial equipment embedded flash storage market.
Production and marketing schedule
  • Production location: Taiwan
  • Production capacity: 100,000 units per month
  • Start of production: January 2017
About TDK Corporation

TDK Corporation is a leading electronics company based in Tokyo, Japan. It was established in 1935 to commercialize ferrite, a key material in electronic and magnetic products. TDK's portfolio includes electronic components, modules and systems* marketed under the product brands TDK and EPCOS, power supplies, magnetic application products as well as energy devices, flash memory application devices, and others. TDK focuses on demanding markets in the areas of information and communication technology and consumer, automotive and industrial electronics. The company has a network of design and manufacturing locations and sales offices in Asia, Europe, and in North and South America. In fiscal 2016, TDK posted total sales of USD 10.2 billion and employed about 92,000 people worldwide.

  • * The product portfolio includes ceramic, aluminum electrolytic and film capacitors, ferrites, inductors, high-frequency components such as surface acoustic wave (SAW) filter products and modules, piezo and protection components, and sensors.


Contact for media
Mr. Sumio MARUKAWA TDK Corporation +813 6778-1055
Contact for customers
Mr. Shunichi HANAFUSA TDK Corporation +81 47 378-9130