Intel and Micron Technology are set to unveil the world's first 25-nanometer NAND Flash which according to reports, would allow hardware manufacturers to pack twice the current amount of storage on the same surface area.
IM Flash Technologies, a Joint Venture between the two semiconductor giants, has sent 8GB samples to a number of manufacturers. The piece of silicon is a multi-level-cell (MLC) one which is cheaper to produce, at equivalent storage capacity, compared to the more expensive SLC.
Mass production of the 8GB module is expected to start next quarter and will give both companies a significant lead in the booming solid state memory market. None of IM Flash Technologies' competitors have currently plans for similar manufacturing sizes.
Objective Analysis, which leaked the news on Friday, wrote that a 300mm silicon wafer could produce slightly more than 400 dice which would put the cost price of each chip at $4 or 50c per GB, four times less than the selling price of NAND Flash in 2009.
In comparison, the cost of manufacturing 34nm chips stands at round $1, as the price of silicon wafer remains the same and has twice the chip count compared to the 25nm process. Shares of Micron and Intel fell heavily on Friday but both companies were up in after hour trading.
Going down to 25nm will provide Intel with an interesting platform for producing its future microprocessors. The semiconductor giant has already produced millions of processors using 45nm lithography and its i3 and i5 Arrandale CPUs already run on 32nm.