Sub-40nm NAND memory device revealed

02 June 2008

New 34nm 32Gb NAND chip from Intel and Micron
New 34nm 32Gb NAND chip from Intel and Micron

Intel and Micron Technology have introduced what is claimed to be the industry’s first sub-40nm NAND memory device, by unveiling a 34nm 32Gb multi-level cell chip.

This process technology was manufactured by the companies’ NAND flash joint venture, IM Flash Technologies (IMFT). The 32Gb NAND chip is apparently the only monolithic device at this density that fits into a standard 48-lead thin small-outline package, providing a cost-effective path to higher densities in existing applications.

The 34nm 32Gb chips will be manufactured on 300millimeter wafers, each producing approximately 1.6terabytes of NAND. Measuring 172mm², the chip will cost-effectively enable high-density solid-state storage in small form factor applications. Indeed, a single 32Gb chip could store more than 2000 high-resolution digital photos, or hold up to 1000 songs on a personal music player. Or, two, eight-die stacked packages would achieve 64GBs of storage; enough for recording anywhere from eight to 40 hours of high-definition video in a digital camcorder.

According to the companies, the 34nm 32Gb chip was designed with solid-state drives in mind. The product will enable more cost-effective SSDs, instantly doubling the current storage volume of these devices and driving capacities to beyond 256GBs in today’s standard, smaller 1.8-inch form factor. SSDs are becoming the new storage medium for notebook computers, providing lower power, faster boot-up time, increased reliability, improved performance and reduced noise, compared to hard disk drives. With the innovations in NAND process technology, such as with the 34nm NAND process, SSDs now offer a significant range of capacities to meet market requirements. Based on the 34nm architecture, Intel and Micron also plan to introduce lower density multi-level cell products including single-level cell products, by the end of this year.

Shipments of customer samples begin this month and mass production is expected during the second half of 2008.

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