News Center | Press Releases

TDK Launches the GBDriver® RA5 NAND Flash Memory Controller LSI

Information contained in the news releases are current as of the date of the press announcement, but may be subject to change without prior notice.

TDK Launches the GBDriver® RA5 NAND Flash Memory Controller LSI

Industry's fastest Flash Memory controller*, Ultra DMA Mode 2 support yields HDD-level access speeds

GBDriverR RA5 NAND Flash Memory Controller LSI
GBDriver® RA5 NAND Flash Memory Controller LSI

June 13, 2006

TDK Corporation announces development of the GBDriver® RA5 NAND Flash Memory controller LSI supporting Ultra DMA Mode 2. Sales will begin in June.

As the price of NAND Flash Memory falls and its recording density increases, NAND Flash Memory is rapidly becoming viable as an alternative to hard disk drives (HDDs). The GBDriver® RA5 Flash Memory controller, which supports Ultra DMA Mode 2, achieves HDD-level access speeds of 33.3 MByte/s peak I/O, approximately 2.7 times faster than TDK's previous GBDriver® generation.

Until now, NAND Flash Memory has been considered unsuitable for applications such as notebook PC's. However, with Ultra DMA access enabled by the GBDriver® RA5, using NAND Flash Memory as high-speed storage for such applications will be possible.

The error-correcting capability of the GBDriver® RA5 has been increased to four-symbol error correction and improved countermeasures were implemented to address issues concerning final customer system designs including protecting against memory corruption that can occur in the case of a power interruption during operation. These enhancements are the result of product development conducted on a level that includes storage applications based on the well-established reliability of the GBDriver® series.

The ATA and PCMCIA compatible GBDriver® RA5 can control up to eight 8 GBit NAND Flash Memory chips, for a maximum of 8 GByte, making possible 8 GByte PCMCIA ATA cards and silicon disks using a single controller chip.

With the GBDriver® RA5's potentiality, TDK is developing silicon disk the GBDisk® for the emerging silicon disk market.

* As of June 13, 2006 according to TDK investigation.
   Actual speed depends on the system.

Storage applications including consumer-use and industrial-use embedded system IT equipment operating systems, file systems, and user data as well as Silicon Disks including hybrid PCs and PCMCIA ATA cards.
Main Features
  1. High-Speed Read/Write
    The GBDriver® RA5 supports the Ultra DMA host interface and adopts a new Flash Memory control format, enabling it to achieve a burst-write performance of 23 MByte/s (equivalent to 150x speed) and a read to the host performance of 24 MByte/s (equivalent to 160x speed). Optimized write control on the host side provides for write operations at stable transfer rates.
  2. Error Correction and Recovery
    The GBDriver® RA5 is equipped with four-symbol (40 bit)/sector ECC on the fly. ECC functions have been improved with regard to the bit error phenomenon seen when the latest NAND Flash Memory is used, and a function added to correct errors automatically within the controller when reading.
  3. Improved Power Interruption Tolerance
    The GBDriver® RA5 employs new algorism against error concurrence and other errors on a power interruption during write time.
  4. Supported Flash Memory
    The GBDriver® RA5 supports the Flash Memory chips from 128 Mbits to 8 Gbits of all Flash Memory venders including new market entrants, addressing a wide range of uses from small capacities for embedded OS's, to large capacities for music and video streaming.
  5. Advanced Technology for Reliable NAND Flash Memory Control
    Compared to earlier TDK controller products, the GBDriver® RA5 secures expanded spare space for future bad blocks and improved block control structures within the controller, and is equipped with an address control mechanism structure that can be used even when a large number of inherent bad blocks occur in the Flash Memory in a short period.
  6. Customer Support
    TDK has been developing and selling the GBDriver® series of NAND Flash Memory controllers since 2000 and provides technology support based on its original technologies to customers within Japan and overseas. The support includes dispatch of field application engineers and implementation of reliability monitoring functions, for which the company sees great need especially among embedded system customers.
Production and Sales Plan
  • Sample price : US $20-
  • Production locations : Japan and Taiwan
  • Production capacity : 100,000 per month (planned)
  • Start of production : June 2006

* GBDriver® and GBDisk® are registered trademarks of TDK Corporation.

For further information, contact the Corporate Communications Dept.
Tel.: 81-3-6778-1055