Thursday, April 14th 2011

Intel, Micron Extend NAND Flash Technology Leadership, Introduce 20 nm NAND Flash

Intel Corporation and Micron Technology Inc. today introduced a new, finer 20-nanometer (nm) process technology for manufacturing NAND flash memory. The new 20nm process produces an 8-gigabyte (GB) multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash device, providing a high-capacity, small form factor storage option for saving music, video, books and other data on smartphones, tablets and computing solutions such as solid-state drives (SSDs).

The growth in data storage combined with feature enhancements for tablets and smartphones is creating new demands for NAND flash technology, especially greater capacity in smaller designs. The new 20nm 8GB device measures just 118mm² and enables a 30 to 40 percent reduction in board space (depending on package type) compared to the companies' existing 25nm 8GB NAND device. A reduction in the flash storage layout provides greater system level efficiency as it enables tablet and smartphone manufacturers to use the extra space for end-product improvements such as a bigger battery, larger screen or adding another chip to handle new features.

Manufactured by IM Flash Technologies (IMFT), Intel and Micron's NAND flash joint venture, the new 20nm 8GB device is a breakthrough in NAND process and technology design, further extending the companies' lithography leadership. Shrinking NAND lithography to this technology node is the most cost-effective method for increasing fab output, as it provides approximately 50 percent more gigabyte capacity from these factories when compared to current technology. The new 20nm process maintains similar performance and endurance as the previous generation 25nm NAND technology.

"Close customer collaboration is one of Micron's core values and through these efforts we are constantly uncovering compelling end-product design opportunities for NAND flash storage," said Glen Hawk, vice president of Micron's NAND Solutions Group. "Our innovation and growth opportunities continue with the 20nm NAND process, enabling Micron to deliver cost-effective, value-added solid-state storage solutions for our customers."

"Our goal is to enable instant, affordable access to the world's information," said Tom Rampone, vice president and general manager, Intel Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group. "Industry-leading NAND gives Intel the ability to provide the highest quality and most cost-effective solutions to our customers, generation after generation. The Intel-Micron joint venture is a model for the manufacturing industry as we continue to lead the industry in process technology and make quick transitions of our entire fab network to smaller and smaller lithographies."

The 20nm, 8GB device is sampling now and expected to enter mass production in the second half of 2011. At that time, Intel and Micron also expect to unveil samples of a 16GB device, creating up to 128GBs of capacity in a single solid-state storage solution that is smaller than a U.S. postage stamp.
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12 Comments on Intel, Micron Extend NAND Flash Technology Leadership, Introduce 20 nm NAND Flash

#1
RejZoR
And these will have, what? 1000 re-writes only? Makes me wonder where NAND flash technology is heading. At 15nm they'll have so little write cycles i have no clue what they'll think off then to make them last longer than an ice cream on a very hot summer day...
Posted on Reply
#3
Jstn7477
Might as well make these EEPROMS because I bet they die quickly after being erased a few times. :nutkick:

Wish they could find a solution to the extremely limited writes on these smaller NAND devices.
Posted on Reply
#4
devguy
Simple solution: pay for an SSD with a max capacity of 512GB, and an advertised 64GB available to the OS. The remaining extra space will be used for light wearing.

:)
Posted on Reply
#5
jasper1605
by: devguy
Simple solution: pay for an SSD with a max capacity of 512GB
Problem to your solution is that you need to sell your computer to buy the ssd for it. Simple solution is not so simple afterall
Posted on Reply
#6
devguy
by: jasper1605
Problem to your solution is that you need to sell your computer to buy the ssd for it. Simple solution is not so simple afterall
Hehe, I hope you realized I was joking. I was mocking the overly ambitious wear leveling scheme (advertising a 120gb, but having a lot less available after a format) currently used by OCZ and others on their 25nm SSDs, and suggesting that it'll be much worse for a 20nm drive (ie a drive with physically 512GB on it, but only 64GB available after a format).
Posted on Reply
#7
TheLostSwede
Wow, some really optimistic people here today...
The question is, will you be using the same SSD in three years time? Most likely not, so then you don't have anything to worry about.
Posted on Reply
#8
Trackr
by: TheLostSwede
Wow, some really optimistic people here today...
The question is, will you be using the same SSD in three years time? Most likely not, so then you don't have anything to worry about.
Of course I am.

The only reason to upgrade would be bandwidth increase or larger space.

Since 500MB/s seems enough to me, and 256GB as well..

I don't think I'll upgrade until I can get twice that for the same price.
Posted on Reply
#9
slyfox2151
by: Trackr
Of course I am.

The only reason to upgrade would be bandwidth increase or larger space.

Since 500MB/s seems enough to me, and 256GB as well..

I don't think I'll upgrade until I can get twice that for the same price.
in 3 years you will get 4 times that for less then 1/3 of the price with twice the speed :D



go back 3 years and have another look at the SSD prices.
Posted on Reply
#10
RejZoR
by: TheLostSwede
Wow, some really optimistic people here today...
The question is, will you be using the same SSD in three years time? Most likely not, so then you don't have anything to worry about.
Well, i've ordered OCZ Vertex 3 and i'm planning to use it for quite longer...
Posted on Reply
#11
Disruptor4
Instead of getting lower in nm, get better write cycles! FFS.
Posted on Reply
#12
MikeMurphy
Give me something with unlimited read/writes and i'll buy tomorrow.

C'mon technology!
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