Alternative distribution to optical disks : SSD, cards, and download*

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Cheezdoodles, May 26, 2008.

  1. eastmen

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    TFK why are we still arguging nand pricing ? In January of 2010 Intel / micron announced 25nm nand with production ramping in qtr 2 of the year for 8GB dies they were able to decrease the chips needed on 34nm by half.

    http://www.computerworld.com/s/arti...ce_world_s_densest_flash_memory?taxonomyId=12


    August of 2010 intel/micron announced 3bit 25nm flash nand which is about 20% smaller than the 25nm process above

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/203497/intel_micron_announce_higherdensity_flash_memory.html


    While the jump to 25nm decreased the chips needed by half , the 3bit cell tech will allow them to fit 20% more chips on a wafer thus lowering costs further

    They currently have 64/128 in production for mlc and 256/512 sampling. 256Gb is 32GB .

    on the older process a 32GB flash card would need 8 nand chips. On 25nm its 4 on 18nm it will be less and on 12nm even less. Each time costs go down.

    in the future smaller games may only need 1 nand chip for 8 gigs of data more than what the 360 has now.

    During the next gen of consoles we should see all those process nodes (some before the next gen consoles most likely ) and am ovement to 450 wafters from the 300 ones now.
     
  2. -tkf-

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    I don´t have tolerance issues, after all i am still reading what your posts, eventhough you clearly have a problem with keeping your agressive behaivor outside your posts.

    But if all your posts are sarcasm then you should just stop posting instead, you make it kind a hard to take them serious.
     
  3. -tkf-

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    I am completely and fully aware of the fact that prices is coming down on anything flash related. It´s the nature of the game. But i am not convinced that it´s going to be as cheap as it is to stamp a plastic disc with 25GB. But as i said before and will gladly repeat, i would prefer cartridge based games for the next gen, if they didn´t comprise games and did not raise the price by a crazy amount.

    But while the prices should be coming down i am not sure it will be as fast as we could hope for. And it could very well turn out to be alot like RAM prices. Where sudden high demand will raise the price and on the other hand, to much production might dump the prices.

    And as the articles you linked indicated there may be problems keeping up with the 18 month schedule on the die shrinking.
     
  4. tongue_of_colicab

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    I think it's clear that nand won't be cheaper than pressing a disk. However you have to consider more than just the production costs. We already discussed how it could lower the price of the console, shipping, more shelve space etc and than there are the speed advantages.

    If 8gb is enough to get away with at the start of nex gen I think somebody should go for flash based game storage. With all the dlc you got these days all consoles will probably come with a large hdd so if a 8gb game needs heavy compression that would require a disk install I think that would be fine. A ~15gb install on a 500gb ~ 1tb disk is no problem.
     
  5. eastmen

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    Oh no doubt that the 18 month schedual will be imposible to keep up with , however we are already about 12 months from the press release on 25nm . So even if they need 24months to 36 months its not a problem as there is still no next gen console announced .

    I don't think that flash will ever be cheaper than optical but you have alot going for it to offset that

    1) Console itself is cheaper an optical drive in a console can cost $30-$50 and it will increase the size of the console and require a larger power supply. This will affect pricing from the cost of the casing to the size of the box to the shipping weight and size all the way to retail with the amount of stock a company can keep in the store. $30 off 50m consoles is $1.5B less spent.

    2) Optical format even with blurays coating is fragile discs can crack , scratch what have you. Flash is compact and can survie drops down stairs and even being wet .

    3) Size of the packaging. SD tech is very small and you can create cases that mimic that and like the console you would get savings across the board from packing to shiping to even how many can be kept on store shelves

    4) Speed . SD cards can go into the 100s of MB/s and remain silent while bluray has an upper speed level and at 12x your only hitting 54MB/s and it most likely will not be an even read speed across the disc. Add to that seek tiems and layer transitions and speeds drop off a cliff compared to flash.


    If the price of sd can fit inside of a $5 game mark up then I don't see why a game company wouldn't choose it.
     
  6. Megadrive1988

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  7. MfA

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    Well DUH.
     
  8. -tkf-

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    These are all fair arguments, but in terms of being usefull, it depends on where the next gen is heading.
    If it´s still going to be a power house then the xtra space used for a optical drive and the power savings is in % not as important as it would be if they chose to go with less power and smaller housing.

    And there is an argument and discussion on the added value of a Blu-Ray player, some would like it and see it as extra value. And others wouldn´t care. The number of people that would see it as added value are the important once when it comes to selling the console.

    There is money to be saved from smaller packeing, but it´s not just good stuff. Any package that stands out from the default DVD/BLURAY package can be annoying for the shops. It would have to be packaged similar to the DS carts then.

    I don´t find optical fragile at least not within reason, when it´s outside reason it´s true that a hard small plasic pack will be more ever lasting. But i find that to be the least usefull argument.

    Speed is where it´s at, if they really achieve the speeds you quote, then it´s just awesome. Loading screens suck :)
     
  9. AlphaWolf

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    that kind of speed still comes at somewhat of a premium, but its there.
     
  10. TheAlSpark

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    But will it play... DVDs. ಠ_ಠ
     
  11. eastmen

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  12. Tahir2

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    Umm, no.
     
  13. eastmen

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  14. ninelven

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    Nintendo is all about profit in every aspect.... flash is significantly more expensive than optical media... possible but highly doubtful.
     
  15. eastmen

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    yes which is why their handhelds use optical discs right ?:shock:
     
  16. Shifty Geezer

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    Every choice is a compromise. Flash makes sense for a handheld as despite being expensive, it comes with gains in power draw, form factor, and system design. In a home console, these issues are lessened making optical a stronger option, and then the cost of flash has a considerable impact on value.
     
  17. fehu

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    how much can cost an UMD + reader compared to flash + flash reader?
     
  18. eastmen

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    It all depends look at the wii

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    To make the wii any smaller you'd have to get rid of the optical drive its the biggest part of the system.

    If nintendo goes with something like llano on 32nm it will use 50watts from amd's presentation today and give greater than xbox 360 performance. You can fit it in a pretty small form factor and if your targeting xbox 360 graphics or slightly better ( 1gig of ram instead of 512 ?) you can easily get away with 8 gigs of flash memory.
    3DS games are on 2 gigs of flash and can go up to 8 gigs in size.

    If nintendo goes for simply current gen performance and then a little more omph i can see flash fitting quite well in that space for them
     
  19. corduroygt

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    If you're nintendo, you're looking for cheap cheap cheap, which means no flash (DS games are 128mb usually, just a few titles use more), and no overpriced x86 cpu/gpu from a manufacturer whose execution often does not match their claims.

    You are also mistaken about the 3DS, the cart sizes are right now 2GB MAX, later that max can be increased. The same thing happened with the DS, cart sizes were 128MB max, later increased to 256, and then 512MB. The problem is, very few DS games ever needed or used more than 128MB, which is an order of magnitude different than 8GB cards.
    You can bet that N+ does not expect to use too many cards >2GB so that's why they can afford it.

    Wii is a different animal, since they'd indeed be using a lot more space than 3DS (they're already using dual-layer DVD this gen), which means more expensive flash, which is not really going down in price when you check the pricing for 25nm SSD's compared to the 34nm SSD's that they replaced.
     
    #899 corduroygt, Mar 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2011
  20. eastmen

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    Why use the DS , the 3DS that just launched in japan 2 days ago is using Flash not umd or another optical format and its games are 2gigs and the spec allows them to go all the way to 8 gigs. Obviously the price wasn't enough of a factor for nintendo to go with cheap optical discs .

    As for x86-64 its up to them , i just used llano as a performance target , the demos they showed impressed me quite a bit and at a 50watt power draw it would be a good fit with nintendos need's esp since they can turn off all but one core and clock it down low to save power when running the os and shop channel for them. It should also be powerful enough to emulate even the wii

    I'm not mistaken at all. Your saying the same thing as I am and yes there are already games pushing 2GB on the 3DS .

    Nintendo will use whatever they need too , you can bet in 2004/5 when the DS was launched they weren't using 512MB carts and most were likely under 64MB but as time goes on the games get bigger and bigger


    If they are targeting xbox 360 level graphics then they will be fine with 4-8 gigs of space with a max of 16 gigs just like the 3DS is fine with 2-8 gigs of space

    The last thing to remember is that wii games are $50 they have a whole $10 bump they can take advantage of if they match or exceed xbox360/ps3 graphics and flash would fit into it well.

    By going with flash they can create a console even smaller than the wii


    Why would we be checking SSD prices ? So we be looking at holographic discs pricing to figure out bluray and dvd pricing ? What insane bull is that ?

    SSD's are priced higher than 34nm because they come with new controllers doubling the performance of the previous drives and thus command a price premium.

    If we look at SD card pricing 8 gigs is now $10 or less and it includes multiple layers of mark up with diffrent companys taking a piece of the action from when it leaves the factory to it gets to your door step .

    Once again even though we have to tell you this each time you bring it up , flash is priced at 50cents a GB and will continue shrink in price. There is the move to 3 bit a cell tech on 25nm , there is 450 wafers instead of 300 wafers and there are other micron drops ahead of us.

    Price of flash in early 2011 is not what nintendo or ms or sony would pay for flash in 2012 or 2013


    As for x86-64 moving to that would give nintendo acess to a ton of engines that can be simply ported to their system. Call of duty , Crysis , Elder Scrolls and god knows what else are all designed for x86-64 we know they run on that tech , we know how well they run. ARM is another story and developers quite frankly are not rushing to support nintendo's home consoles with expensive ports. But x86-64 allows them to make cheap ports to the system and with a quad core llano with a 6650 part and 1-2 gigs of ram will play those ports better than the xbox or ps3 can do
     
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