Intel and Micron are set to announce 25nm chips

PC World is reporting Intel and Micron plan to announce 25 nanometer flash memory chips on Monday. The news comes from a research note by Objective Analysis sent out ahead of the official unveiling. According to PC World, an Intel rep confirmed the new chips, which are set to be used in solid state drives, portable media players, and smartphones. The representative states production is expected in the second quarter. Samples are given to customers to allow adequate time to integrate the chips in product designs.

The 25nm NAND technology puts Intel and Micron ahead of competitors, such as Samsung, who is set to deploy 30nm technology in product lines by the end of 2010. Objective Analysis notes the manufacturing cost of the 25nm chips will be approximately $.50 per gigabyte. This is a substantial decrease from the estimated $1.75 per gigabyte cost of 45nm flash. SSD storage sizes should double with the new 25nm chips. Be on the lookout for these new devices in Q4 2010.

To produce the 25nm chips, Intel and Micron (jointly known as IMFT) are utilizing immersion lithography. The resulting 8GB die consists of many smaller NAND chips, slashing the required amount of dies per device in half. For instance, a 256GB SSD can be built with 32 of the 8GB NAND dies instead of 64 dies with the previous 34nm technology.

Computerworld quoted Troy Winslow, director of NAND marketing at Intel, as saying the die is "small enough to fit through the hole in the middle of a compact disc, yet packs more than 10 times the data capacity of that CD." Winslow also noted the new chips have the same 5,000 write-erase cycles as the 34nm technology.

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