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By 15 April 2011 | Categories: news

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Intel and Micron Technology have introduced a new, finer 20-nanometer (nm) process technology for manufacturing NAND flash memory.
 
This 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 onto smartphones, tablet PCs as well as computing solutions including solid-state drives (SSDs).
 
The growth in data storage combined with feature enhancements for tablets and smartphones is resulting in new demands for NAND flash technology, especially greater capacity within smaller designs.
 
The new 20 nm 8 GB device measures a mere 118 mm and enables a 30-40% reduction in board space (depending on package type), compared to the two companies’ existing 25 nm 8 GB NAND device.
 
A reduction in the flash storage layout allows for improved system level efficiency, as it enables tablet- and smartphone manufacturers to employ the extra space for end-product improvements the likes of a larger battery, bigger display or adding another chip to handle added functionality.
 
 
“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 20 nm, 8 GB device is expected to enter mass production in the second half of this year. During that time Intel and Micron also expects to unveil samples of a 16 GB device, creating up to 128 GB of capacity in a single solid-state storage solution that is smaller than a US postage stamp.

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