Toshiba Corporation today announced the development of a major advance in information security technology: A physical random-number generation circuit that achieves the world's highest output by area, and that generates random numbers at a data rate of 2.0 megabits a second. The newly developed random-number generator (RNG) has a circuit size of only 1,200 square micrometers but achieves the level of performance and reliability essential for integration into IC cards and mobile equipment.
The new RNG technology adopts a compact analogue/digital (A/D) converter which effectively amplifies analog noise signals and converts them to digital random numbers. The technology also integrates a Toshiba-developed compact noise source device. This generates the noise signal by using stochastic physical phenomenon of electrons trapped in the silicon nitride (SiN) layer of a transistor; the layer traps and releases high density electrons at a high generation rate.
Toshiba also confirmed that the new RNG circuit is not subject to temperature dependence, a long-standing reliability issue for physical RNG.
Toshiba's new physical RNG circuit relies on a nanometer-scale noise source device that is not affected by temperature. This device generates large noise signals at high frequency. The newly developed circuit effectively digitizes these large, high frequency signals.
1. Filter and differential amplifier type A/D converter: In its previous work on development of a compact RNG circuit, Toshiba employed a multi-vibrator circuit, where the noise source device was connected to the digitizer circuit in series. As a result, there was a trade-off between the magnitude of the noise and the generation rate; in order to increase the magnitude of the noise, resistance of the noise source device needs to be high, but this leads to a reduction in the circuit's generation rate.
The new technology employs a filter and differential amplifier with a comparator, which is separated from the noise source device. It can selectively extract the high frequency noise signals generated by the new device and achieve a random number generation rate approximately seven times higher than the multi-vibrator circuit: the increases performance to a practical level of 2.0Mb/s, against 0.3Mb/s with the earlier technology.
2. Downsized A/D converter: The improved circuit downsizes the A/D converter. In general, there is a trade-off in RNG: the smaller the noise source device, the larger the circuit area. The high frequency noise signals generated by the noise source device allow Toshiba to reduce the size of the A/D converter, and to reduce entire RNG circuit area to 1,200 square micrometers, including the noise source device. This is 86.6% smaller than the next smallest physical RNG circuit yet announced, a breakthrough that realizes the world's highest performance in random number generation rate per area.
3. No temperature dependence: Experimental tests in a range from -50 to 100° centigrade have confirmed the high-quality randomness of the numbers generated. Results show that the generated numbers are not affected by temperature, verifying the possibility of stable generation of random numbers under the temperature conditions in which IC cards and mobile equipment are used.
Source: Toshiba Corporation
Toshiba Corporation today announced development of technology for a 16-gigabit (Gb) NAND flash memory chip fabricated with 43-nanometer (nm) process technology co-developed with SanDisk Corporation of Milpitas, California.
The new 16Gb products have a chip area of approximately 120 square millimeters, about 30 percent less than the same-density NAND flash memories jointly developed by Toshiba and SanDisk and fabricated with 56nm process technology. Memory cells are grouped and controlled in NAND strings of 64 cells aligned in parallel, double the number of 56nm devices, with a dummy word-line cell at either end to prevent program disturbance. This technology contributes to reduce the number of select gates and to improve memory area efficiency. Modification of the peripheral circuit design also contributes to reduced chip area: the addition of high voltage switches to the circuit reduces the number of control-gate driver circuits required to drive word lines, and ground buses are routed on the memory cell arrays.
Toshiba will start shipments of commercial samples of new 16Gb (2 gigabyte) single-chip, multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memories, the current mainstream density, from today and start mass production from March. Toshiba intends to start mass production of 32Gb (4 gigabyte) NAND flash memories early in the third quarter of this year (July–September 2008). The new chips will be produced at Fab 4, the latest 300mm wafer fabrication facility at Toshiba's Yokkaichi Operations, in Mie prefecture, Japan.
By combining advanced process and MLC technologies, and through continued advances in production efficiency, Toshiba intends to enhance cost competitiveness and meet the needs of the NAND flash memory market.
Source: Toshiba Corporation
Lenovo announced its new ThinkPad and IdeaPad 90W slim AC/DC combo adapter, the company's first all-in-one adapter designed to charge other electronic devices such as most cell phones and PDAs; and many mobile music devices (using optional connector tips.) At about a half-inch thick and 33 percent smaller than Lenovo's previous combo adapter, it's roughly the size of a deck of playing cards – small enough to easily fit into a shirt pocket.
Traditionally, the power adapter for a notebook PC has been referred to as a "brick;" a weighty, bulky necessity that is inconvenient to travel with. A further inconvenience for business travelers, particularly those who fly a lot and spend time in airport security lines, is the need for multiple adapters for multiple devices. Lenovo's new ThinkPad and IdeaPad 90W slim AC/DC combo adapter is 25 percent lighter than the company’s previous model, and helps business travelers cut down on the number of devices they must carry.
Also available is an optional dual-charging cable allowing more than one device to be charged at the same time and optional power tips which enable users to customize the adapter to whatever devices need to be charged.
The ThinkPad and IdeaPad 90W slim AC/DC power adapter is priced at $119. It is available at Lenovo.com and through Lenovo business partners.
Intel Corporation and STMicroelectronics began shipping prototype samples of a future product using a new, innovative memory technology called Phase Change Memory (PCM). The prototypes are the first functional silicon to be delivered to customers for evaluation, bringing the technology one step closer to adoption.
The memory device, codenamed "Alverstone" uses PCM, a promising new memory technology providing very fast read and write speeds at lower power than conventional flash, and allows for bit alterability normally seen in RAM. PCM has long been a topic of discussion for research and development, and with "Alverstone," Intel and STMicroelectronics are helping to move the technology into the marketplace.
Together, the companies created the world's first demonstrable high-density, multi-level cell (MLC) large memory device using PCM technology. The move from single bit per cell to MLC also brings significantly higher density at a lower cost per Mbyte making the combination of MLC and PCM a powerful development.
In 2003, Intel and STMicroelectronics formed a joint development program (JDP) to focus on Phase Change Memory development. Previously the JDP demonstrated 8Mb memory arrays on 180nm at the 2004 VLSI conference and first disclosed the Alverstone 90nm 128Mbit memory device at the 2006 VLSI Symposium. Alverstone and future JDP products will become part of Numonyx, a new independent semiconductor company created through an agreement between STMicroelectronics, Intel and Francisco Partners signed in May 2007. The new company's strategic focus will be on supplying complete memory solutions for a variety of consumer and industrial devices, including cellular phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, computers and other high-tech equipment. The companies are scheduled to close the transaction in the first quarter of 2008.
Alverstone is a 128Mb device built on 90nm and is intended to allow memory customers to evaluate PCM features, allowing cellular and embedded customers to learn more about PCM and how it can be incorporated into their future system designs.
Source: Intel Corporation
HP introduced a new family of entry-level disk arrays--HP StorageWorks 2000 Modular Smart Array (MSA2000)--composed of low-cost Fibre Channel and iSCSI disk arrays for highly available, storage area networks (SAN) that is designed for virtualized server environments.
The easy-to-use, enterprise-class systems are designed for small and mid-size businesses, however, enterprises also will find the MSA2000 is a solution for their remote office, departmental, secondary and tertiary storage needs.
The MSA2000 arrays are easily deployed in physical or virtual server environments to deliver an available and automated infrastructure. The modular arrays also support a wide range of application deployments, including VMware virtualization software. The MSA2000 enables customers to increase disk utilization by deploying any combination of SAS or SATA drives to achieve an ideal mix of price, reliability and performance to support their business.
New capabilities within the MSA2000 increase application uptime to better ensure that the systems are available for the business. For example, features such as dual power supplies, optional dual controllers and redundant hardware with automatic failover significantly reduce business downtime.
To further minimize the risk of business interruption, the MSA2000 includes optional management software for "snap and clone" capabilities. These new data duplication capabilities are critical in protecting data and streamlining IT processes with rapid backup and recovery operations. This more reliable data protection also features a persistent cache that does not require a battery backup, thus reducing the potential disposal of hazardous material.
Both the iSCSI and Fibre Channel MSA2000 arrays complement the HP BladeSystem and feature a built-in management console to set up and configure the storage without additional hardware and software. This enables HP BladeSystem customers to easily fit the MSA2000 into their current management environment and configure all their blades at once instead of one blade at a time.
The flexible and modular nature of the HP StorageWorks portfolio eases the addition of file services to the MSA2000 family using HP ProLiant Storage Servers or an HP StorageWorks EFS Clustered Gateway. By leveraging familiar ProLiant server configuration and system management tools, minimal training is required for IT managers and administration is simplified.
The MSA2000 disk arrays can scale up to 36 terabytes of capacity and support either 4-Gb Fibre Channel (MSA2000fc) or 1-Gb iSCSI (MSA2000i) host connectivity. The arrays can be configured with up to 48 SAS or SATA disk drives for an optimal mix of performance, cost and energy efficiency.
The HP StorageWorks 2000 Modular Smart Array starts at U.S. list price of $4,999 with general availability expected in March.
Apple added new models of the iPhone and iPod touch which have double the memory. The iPhone now comes in a new 16GB model for $499, joining the 8GB model for $399. iPod touch now comes in a 32GB model for $499, joining the 16GB model for $399 and the 8GB model for $299.
Both iPhone and iPod touch feature Apple's Multi-Touch user interface and pioneering software that allows users to find and enjoy all their music, videos, photos and more with just a touch of their finger. All iPhone and iPod touch models include the latest software enhancements announced last month including the ability to automatically find your location using the new Maps application; create Web Clips for your favorite websites; customize your home screen and watch movies from the new iTunes Movie Rentals. Both iPhone and iPod touch feature Safari, Mail, Maps, Stocks, Weather and Notes.
The new 16GB iPhone is available immediately for a suggested retail price of $499 (US). The 32GB iPod touch is available worldwide immediately for a suggested retail price of $499 (US). iTunes Movie Rentals are available in the US only. iPhone and iPod touch require a Mac with a USB 2.0 port, Mac OS X 10.4.10 or later and iTunes 7.6; or a Windows PC with a USB 2.0 port and Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional (Service Pack 2) or later and iTunes 7.6.
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