Micron Technology and Intel have set a new standard in NAND flash technology with the introduction of a first-of-its-kind 20 nm, 128 Gb multilevel-cell (MLC) device developed by their joint-development company, IM Flash Technologies. The companies have also ramped up to volume production of their 20 nm, 64 Gb NAND device.
The monolithic 20 nm device is capable of storing 1 Tb of data in a fingertip-sized package made by utilizing only 8 dies. Its performance and storage capacity is two times higher than that of its current 64 Gb, 20 nm NAND device. The novel device fulfills the high-speed ONFI 3.0 criterion to reach speeds of 333 MT/s, offering an economical solid-state storage device for high-capacity solid-state drives, smartphones and tablets.
According to Intel and Micron, their novel planer cell structure is the cornerstone for their dominance in the 20 nm process technology. The cell structure tackles all problems associated with a sophisticated process technology, while allowing powerful cell scaling, performance and dependability. The structure enabled incorporation of the first Hi-K/metal gate stack to the production of NAND devices, thus eliminating the scaling limitations of the typical NAND floating gate cell.
Micron and Intel have revealed that the mass production of their 64 Gb, 20 nm NAND flash device in December 2011 will allow a quick transformation to the 20 nm, 128 Gb NAND product in 2012. The 128 Gb device samples will be ready in January 2012, with volume production is scheduled in the 2012 first half.