Intel, Micron Unveil 25-NM Flash Memory - InformationWeek

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Intel, Micron Unveil 25-NM Flash Memory

The NAND technology is the smallest on the market and packs more than 10 times the data capacity of a CD, the companies say.

Micron Technology and Intel, introduced on Monday smaller, more dense NAND flash memory technology that will increase the amount of storage offered in smartphones, personal media players and solid-state drives.

The 25-nanometer NAND technology is the smallest available in the market today, according to the companies. The new flash memory will be manufactured by IM Flash Technologies, a 4-year-old venture of Intel and Micron.

The manufacturing process used to create 25-nm circuitry produces 8 GB of storage in a single NAND device that can fit through the hole in the middle of CD. The NAND device, however, would pack more than 10 times the data capacity of a CD.

The small footprint is due the ability to pack more memory chips into a NAND device, thereby increasing storage, but not size. For example, a 256 GB SSD would only need 32 of the new NAND devices versus 64 of the previous generation.

Intel and Micron claim to be doubling NAND density about every 18 months. IMFT started production with a 50-nm process in 2006, followed by a 34-nm process.

IMFT, which competes with Samsung and others in the memory market, expects to enter mass production of a 25-nm, 8 GB device in the second quarter.

Hitachi is a customer of IMFT and plans to use its technology in making SSDs for servers, workstations, and storage systems. The drives, scheduled for release this year, will be available with serial attached SCSI and Fibre Channel interfaces. Hitachi, which bought IBM's storage business in 2003, is the third-largest maker of hard-disk drives, following Seagate Technology and Western Digital, respectively.

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