updated 12:50 pm EDT, Thu April 14, 2011
Intel and Micron hit 20nm for flash memory
Intel and Micron on Thursdaysaid they had developed the world's first 20 nanometer NAND flash memory in what could be a leap for mobile device storage. An 8GB example chip is 30 to 40 percent smaller than the current-best 25nm process and is just over 0.18 inches squared. The two companies expected the 20nm design to be just as fast as with 25nm but to be noticeably cheaper to make for equivalent features, since it could produce 50 percent more gigabytes of storage than they do today.
The space savings were pitched directly for common mobile devices, including phones, tablets, and solid-state drives for computers. A 16GB package layered up could create a 128GB chip smaller than a US stamp, the partner firms said.
The 8GB part is already being handed out in test samples but won't be in volume production until the second half of the year. Samples were planned for the 16GB chip as well but weren't given an estimated time to reach factories.