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Microsoft Xbox 2 to Change HDD for Flash Storage? Microsoft Xbox 2 to Change HDD for Flash Storage?
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Microsoft Xbox 2 to Change HDD for Flash Storage?
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Old 7th March 2004, 16:14   #1
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Default Microsoft Xbox 2 to Change HDD for Flash Storage?

A senior executive from a company that will supply storage products for Microsoft Xbox 2 console said Thursday there would be no HDD in the next-generation gaming machines from the world’s largest software maker.

Currently available Xbox console works just like an ordinary personal computer – it contains central processing unit, graphics processing unit (integrated into a North Bridge of the chipset), media and communication processor, random access memory, DVD-ROM, HDD, mainboard and other components found in typical computers. The Xbox 2, however, is expected to be fully different from any typical PC architecture.

In late February 2004 M-Systems Flash Disk Pioneers Ltd, the developer of the Smart DiskOnKey platform, entered into a technology development agreement with Microsoft Corporation. Under the agreement, M-Systems will develop customized memory units for future Xbox products and services.

The Smart DiskOnKey platform is comprised of solutions offering M-Systems’ customers the option to choose from M-Systems' existing product lines or to design their own form factor while still using M-Systems' internal architecture. The DiskOnKey product line offers fast data transfer speeds combined with reliability and ease-of-use. M-Systems’ Smart DiskOnKey platform offers the flexibility to extend the use of the device beyond simple data storage to meet other requirements, such as functioning as a secure access device or as a smart card using flash management software, True Flash File System (TrueFFS), an integral component of the Smart DiskOnKey platform.

M-System, the company who was the first in the world to create a flash disk in 1990, now supplies its Fast Flash Disks to with capacities ranging from 16 MB to 47 GB, for military and aerospace infrastructure applications, TeamXbox web-site notes.

When asked about the outcome of the development agreement with Microsoft by Globes, in Israeli business press, M-Systems President and CEO Dov Moran said:

”It’s a cooperation agreement. The potential is not clear, but it is in the billions of dollars. Microsoft has taken the hard disk out of its Xbox. The only thing left will be a CD; that’s all. At some point, when users want to save their e-mail messages, copy music, or anything like that, the only storage they will have is what we give them. It is worth hundreds of millions to the company, spread over a few years, and we will be the main supplier for it; and I hope the sole supplier.

”Meanwhile, development is intense, and requires expenses, although not major ones. We’ll start supply only in 2005.”

Knowing the major technology M-Systems provides, it is not hard to figure out that the conventional HDD has been replaced by something based on flash technology in the Xbox 2 project. Although this cuts down Microsoft’s own expenses, data storage solutions based on flash memory may be rather expensive for end-users.
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