From silicon metal to SSD: how to create solid-state drives OCZ

Hello, Geektimes! Many users SSDs often wonder: how and where, in fact, produce a SSD? How difficult is this process? And if the general assembly of some of the principles are known, to look "behind the scenes" produced on forces far not for everyone. Today we'll show you how to create the SSD, and make a short trip to the OCZ factory in Taiwan.

Before you - the silicon metal. That it is the basis of chip production, including components for solid-state drives. Now it is often made carbothermic process which is patented by Russian scientists, using in the process of ore-thermal furnace. Ton is such a good two to three thousand euros. In large furnace plants produced on metallic silicon having a purity of 98, 5%, and silicon dust. The latter are used usually in the mortar, so that it is of little interest to us.

Technical silicon is obtained by reducing coke SiO2 melt temperature reaches 1800 with degrees Celsius. Thus produced silicon with a purity of 99% 9, where the rest - carbon and metals

. But for the production of electronic components we need a so-called electronic silicon, "pure diamond" among silicon. Technical chlorinated silicon and trichlorosilane (SiHCl3). After his treatment at the outlet have an electronic silicon, in which the impurity concentration is very small - usually 0% 0000001. Electronic silicon melted in the single crystals, which are then cut into wafers and diamond saw.

Here is one such single crystal, which can weigh a hundredweight, and even more.

Schematically thread looks like a saw, believe me, is very urgent:

The wafers are polished and made smooth, so that they shone straight in the literal sense. But we will not go deeply into the intricacies of production, all the more so in the description of all the processes we simply do not have enough ink. To illustrate all this, in fact, better to look at the production of their own eyes. The plant OCZ.

Introduction and gist of the production process SSD
While our "plane" landed on Taiwan, let's first look at how to build solid-state drives in the production process of OCZ. Before the drive will be in a factory for the assembly of its design, say the design, test, create a set of concepts. The chart below clearly shows the main stages of the design process.

As with any product, SSD development starts with the idea that may not necessarily represent an entirely new storage model. It can be updated with the new current line of NAND, its completion larger capacity version, another form factor, the new software and so on. At the zero point the idea is ready to become a concept, it is only a "nudge" in the right direction. This will help document, which usually consists of 1-2 pages, which contains a brief description of the product and the purpose of its creation.

Once the concept has settled, marketing and engineering teams join forces. Both are very important because the drive must not only sell, but also to be reliable and modern, combining the latest advances in the industry. Work takes about three weeks, and ends with the formation and description of the system requirements. If the latter fails to formulate the product returns to the concept stage.

In the second stage OCZ plans and allocates resources for the project, only then it begins work on its embodiment. Two important documents that are necessary for this - marketing requirements and engineering report. Generally, the second stage is one of the most important, because it requires concerted action teams and to work on all aspects and subtleties, including the budget. From a project plan and budget depends on where the company will direct its hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars, so that the calculation can not be here. The second phase depends on the product and on the teams that are working on it: it usually takes one to three months (the last - in the case of the development of a completely new drive)

. If the budget for the project is selected, the OCZ moves on to the third phase, where most of the work of engineers has already been done. The main purpose - to create the first working prototype, so it can be tested.

At that time, engineers are busy with their work, the other teams perform their own tasks and prepare everything for the production of prototypes (at this stage, selected providers, developed the preliminary specifications and marketing materials). The length of the stages of development and realization largely depends on the product, but even the drive using an existing controller may be "stuck" on it for a year. The development of an entirely new controller (for example, JetExpress) and does take several years.

Quarter phase, which includes the analysis and quality evaluation consists of three main parts: an engineering Screening Test (EVT), design verification test (DVT) and production verification test (PVT)



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