Intel and Micron Increase 20nm NAND Flash Memory Capacity

The joint venture between Intel and Micron, IM Flash Technologies, has increased the capacity of 20nm NAND flash memory to 128GB - potentially allowing for 1TB of data storage on a chip the size of a fingertip.

Current generations of NAND have 64GB capacity and are only just coming into full production, showing the impressive pace that this technology is developing at. Full scale manufacture of 128GB chips is expected to begin fully in mid-2012, with early samples going out in January.

V3 has a statement from Rob Crooke, the vice president and general manager of Intel's non-volatile memory solutions group. "It is gratifying to see the continued NAND leadership from the Intel-Micron joint development, with yet more firsts as our manufacturing teams deliver these high-density, low-cost, compute-quality 20nm NAND devices," he said.

Memory developments like this will be used to increase storage capacity in mobile devices as well as portable gaming systems. Solid state drives (SSD) will also benefit, with the potential for even bigger SSDs than those in the current generation.

Intel and Micron used a new cell structure design, as well as changing materials used in the manufacture of the gate stack to one that's a high-k dieletric, for coming up with 128GB NAND flash memory.

IM Flash Technologies has been a joint venture between the two firms since early 2006, having worked together to develop previous generations of NAND flash in the past.