The new 25nm, 2bit/cell chip can hold 8GB of digital capacity, more than 10 times the capacity of a standard compact dic [700MB]. The chip measures a mere 167mm2 -- small enough to fit through the hole in the middle of a compact disc.
Intel and Micron Technology reset the NAND flash capacity bar a little higher and the chip size threshold a little lower Feb. 1 with the introduction of the world's first 25-nanometer solid-state processor.
The new 25nm, 2bit/cell chip can hold 8GB of digital capacity, more than 10 times the capacity of a standard compact disc [700MB]. The chip measures a mere 167mm2 -- small enough to fit through the hole in the middle of a compact disc.
"This is not only the smallest NAND lithography in the world, it is the smallest silicon manufacturing technology in the world," Intel Marketing Director Troy Winslow told eWEEK on a conference call.
"This is now the largest capacity multi-level cell device on the market, at 8GB. We were the first on 34nm, now we're the first on 25nm."
The smaller size allows multiple 8GB chips to be packaged more economically to increase storage capacity. The new 25nm 8GB device reduces chip count by 50 percent compared to previous process generations, allowing for smaller, yet higher-density, designs and greater cost efficiencies, Winslow said.
For example, a 256GB solid-state drive now can be enabled with only 32 of these devices, versus 64 previously, Winslow said. A 32GB smartphone needs only four, and a 16GB flash card requires only two, he said.
NAND flash memory, used in consumer devices such as smartphones, digital cameras, and personal music and media players, stores data and retains the information even when the power is turned off. NAND flash also is gaining market share for use as components in high-performance solid-state drives for servers and storage arrays.
IM Flash Technologies, Intel and Micron's NAND flash joint venture, continues to cram more capacity onto tinier pieces of silicon about every six to eight months. IMFT debuted its 34nm, 3Bit/cell NAND flash chip last August.
The 25nm/8GB device is sampling now and is expected to enter mass production in Q2 2010, Winslow said.