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January 31, 2010

Intel, Micron unveil 25nm NAND flash memory product

Claims to reduce chip count by 50% compared to previous process generations

By CBR Staff Writer

Intel and Micron Technology have unveiled 25nm NAND technology, which it claims to provide a cost-effective path for increasing storage capacity in devices such as smartphones, personal music and media players (PMPs) and solid-state drives (SSDs).

The new NAND flash product was manufactured by IM Flash Technologies (IMFT), Intel and Micron’s NAND flash joint venture. The 25nm process produces 8GB of storage in a single NAND device, creating a storage offering for consumer gadgets. It measures 167mm2 and packs more than 10 times the data capacity of standard CD that holds 700 megabytes of data.

Intel claims that the 25nm process is not only the smallest NAND technology but is also the smallest semiconductor technology in the world, which continues the advancement of more music, video, and other data in consumer electronics and computing applications.

The company is currently sampling the 25nm, 8GB device and plans to enter mass production in the second quarter of 2010. For consumer electronics manufacturers, the device provides the highest-density in a single 2 bits-per-cell multi-level cell (MLC) die that will fit thin small-outline package (TSOP).

According to Intel, multiple 8GB devices can be stacked in a package to increase storage capacity. The new 25nm 8GB device reduces chip count by 50% compared to previous process generations, allowing for smaller, yet higher density designs. A 256GB SSD can now be enabled with just 32 of these devices, compared to 64 earlier and a 32GB smartphone needs just four of these devices.

Tom Rampone, vice president and general manager at Intel Nand Solutions Group, said: Through our continued investment in IMFT, we’re delivering leadership technology and manufacturing that enable the most cost-effective and reliable NAND memory. This will help speed the adoption of solid-state drive solutions for computing.

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