A new milestone has been reached by Intel and Micron when they announced yesterday of their achievement of being able to double the storage space on flash memory using 25nm NAND.
This essentially means that now the industry will see an influx of higher capacity memory chips, which benefits not only SSD manufacturers but would also help cell phones OEM such as HTC, Apple and Nokia, who have been leaders in providing high capacity phones to the masses.
In a joint statement by Intel and Micron, it was said that the manufacturing of these new capacity flash memories will start in the second quarter of 2010, which essentially means that we will start seeing the first batches coming in by end 2010. It may also happen that the prices of flash memory would drastically drop but initially OEM might like to retain the current pricing and cut their losses along with improving their bottom line profits before jumping the low price / high capacity band wagon.
Intel and Micron had formed IMFT in 2006, which started with production of 50nm process but brought it down to 32nm process in 2008. Now starting 2010, the process has been again brought down to 25nm which is an achievement in it self. Essentially, at this rate we can expect the flash memory sizes to double up every 4 years.
A single NAND chip can hold up to 8 giga bytes of data as compared to 4GB in previous versions. The size of the new NAND process chip is smaller than the hole in the middle of a CD but holds 10 times more capacity.