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Intel-Micron doubles flash capacities

Intel-Micron doubles flash capacities

Intel and Micron Technologies have joined forces to create the first NAND flash chips based around a 25nm process.

Intel and Micron Technology have joined forces to create the first 25nm NAND flash chips, allowing for double the capacity over current flash memory.

As reported over on IEEE Spectrum, the joint venture - called, somewhat unimaginatively, Intel-Micron Flash Technologies - will be the first to start production of flash memory chips based on a 25nm manufacturing process - a significant density increase over current 34nm chips.

Due to start mass production in the second quarter of this year - and to start cropping up in SSDs and USB memory sticks shortly after that - the 25nm process allows for 8GB of data to be crammed into 167mm² - or, to put it another way, ten times the data of a CD in the space taken up by the hole in the centre.

The news of a 25nm NAND breakthrough has come as a surprise to Intel and Micron's competitors, who have been working on a process shrink of their own - but with Samsung looking at 27nm and Hynix 26nm, Intel-Micron Flash Technologies will certainly have a not inconsiderable lead over its rivals for a while yet.

Although Intel-Micron Flash Technologies has yet to talk about pricing for its new NAND flash chips, it is thought that the process shrink and concomitant increase in data density will help SSDs drop to a more acceptable price-per-gigabyte - and surely drive adoption at an even faster pace.

Are you pleased to see solid-state development proceeding apace, or will you believe the advances when you can get your sticky mitts on a product based around the companies' 25nm chips? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

31 Comments

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mi1ez 19th March 2010, 14:08 Quote
Come one price drops! That SSD is nearly within reach!
l3v1ck 19th March 2010, 14:23 Quote
As long as they can supply enough to meet demand. Any lack of supply will push prices up.
shanky887614 19th March 2010, 14:29 Quote
i will buy an ssd when the size is aceptable with a good price untill you can get a 1tb ssd for £100 im not going to buy one (1 tb mechanical hdd nly costs £58 and in custom pc mag, there was a 2tb one for £99
B3CK 19th March 2010, 14:36 Quote
I would be happy with the high performance SSD's at 30Gb or larger, as long as the 30 started at aprox $100 US.
But if they can drive down the cost of the older drives, I do see this as good development progress.
do_it_anyway 19th March 2010, 14:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanky887614
i will buy an ssd when the size is aceptable with a good price untill you can get a 1tb ssd for £100 im not going to buy one (1 tb mechanical hdd nly costs £58 and in custom pc mag, there was a 2tb one for £99
I think that will be a long way away.

I will adopt at 256GB for around £200. That way its the same price as a decent graphics card, and has enough space for OS and Games.
rickysio 19th March 2010, 14:38 Quote
I'd probably have to wait till it drops to like, 12nm in order to afford one... >.>
GW42 19th March 2010, 14:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bit-Tech
The news of a 25nm NAND breakthrough has come as a surprise to Intel and Micron's competitors...

Really? They obviously don't read tech sites then - http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3731 - announced 2 months ago :)

(EDIT - ok 1 1/2 months ago. & apologies if I have missed a blindingly obvious difference between the 2 stories...)
maximus09 19th March 2010, 15:21 Quote
I wouldn't mind buying 128GB for £150, but £300 is stupid. I can afford to buy one now but no way will I spend that much! I think the whole SSD thing is a conspiracy at the moment and companies are artefically inflating the prices buy not producing cheaper NANDs and very few so that the first few years they will earn lots of money without manufactuing lots.
Autti 19th March 2010, 15:22 Quote
Screw nand, i want a 25nm CPU!
Bazz 19th March 2010, 15:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by do_it_anyway
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanky887614
i will buy an ssd when the size is aceptable with a good price untill you can get a 1tb ssd for £100 im not going to buy one (1 tb mechanical hdd nly costs £58 and in custom pc mag, there was a 2tb one for £99
I think that will be a long way away.

I will adopt at 256GB for around £200. That way its the same price as a decent graphics card, and has enough space for OS and Games.

Exactly, £200 for 256 seems a fair trade between price per gig/performance.
Crucial started with their M225 series, offering good performance for a reasonable cost, only for the nand manufacturers to raise the pricing of nand chips, meaning Crucial raising their prices. Their 128GB was originally £200, which 6 months ago was good, only to see it hit £300+ in todays market :(

Also, 1TB SSD?? you can get them, but wanting them for £100, not on your nelly, well not until SSD's stop mechancial drives from being manufactured.
adidan 19th March 2010, 16:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GW42
Really? They obviously don't read tech sites then - http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3731 - announced 2 months ago :)

(EDIT - ok 1 1/2 months ago. & apologies if I have missed a blindingly obvious difference between the 2 stories...)
Nope, spot on mate.

This was officially announced some time ago now, 25nm, larger capacity production Q2, available around Q4.

Why so late off the mark BT?
thehippoz 19th March 2010, 16:41 Quote
thing is with vista and win 7 superfetch.. the stuff you use a lot is cached- really for boot times and who cares about that =] I dunno maybe I'm too cynical anymore but if the prices don't compare to drives out (that last)- not going to jump in.. same with the quad, I still don't see anything where I need to upgrade- esp with things moving to the gpu.. it's like raid, don't really care much about it either.. just more things to go wrong and anything like a database you'd want on a harddrive anyway

when the prices come down some I'll jump into a 256.. but until then really no benefit.. you'd probably put your games on a harddrive also to save writes to the ssd- I guess maybe to impress someone with boot times and shut down woopee =] least acronis lets you select drives into one backup if you want- so that's covered least..

I'd get one if it wasn't 30 gb for 90 bucks right now on newegg (probably all you need for the os partition) reading about them and firmware updates cause complete data loss? disable system restore, indexing ect.. waiting till all this gets solved and prices aren't so high
Gareth Halfacree 19th March 2010, 17:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidan
Why so late off the mark BT?
Mea culpa - it's only just come to my attention. I must have missed the original announcement, otherwise I'd have written about it then.
Fizzban 19th March 2010, 18:02 Quote
25nm! Holy-****. There isn't many numbers left..lol. What's it gonna be in a few years, Micro Nanometer?
HandMadeAndroid 19th March 2010, 18:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by maximus09
I wouldn't mind buying 128GB for £150, but £300 is stupid. I can afford to buy one now but no way will I spend that much! I think the whole SSD thing is a conspiracy at the moment and companies are artefically inflating the prices buy not producing cheaper NANDs and very few so that the first few years they will earn lots of money without manufactuing lots.

No, no conspiracy.....a traditional hard drive costs around the same price to manufacture regardless of the storage size; where as an SSD is dependent on the price of the individual chips that go up to make the drive. So for example a 128gb drive might contain 64 chips that cost the manufacture $5 each to buy in depending on NAND prices at the time.
Sloth 19th March 2010, 21:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandMadeAndroid
No, no conspiracy.....a traditional hard drive costs around the same price to manufacture regardless of the storage size; where as an SSD is dependent on the price of the individual chips that go up to make the drive. So for example a 128gb drive might contain 64 chips that cost the manufacture $5 each to buy in depending on NAND prices at the time.
Well, there are some components that will cost the same regardless. Such as the plastic housing, the controller, the PCB that everything is stuck on, the SATA and power ports, etc. The price can never go below these no matter how small you go, just like mechanical drives all must have a housing and read/write heads etc, with varying amounts of platters or varying capacities on those platters changing costs between total capacities.

The "conspiracy" with SSDs is the NAND manufacturers charging far more for their product than it costs to produce.
GregTheRotter 19th March 2010, 22:01 Quote
I just bought a 34nm 80 X25 :/
HourBeforeDawn 19th March 2010, 22:05 Quote
yes yes price drops and higher capacities. ^_^
Anfield 20th March 2010, 01:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
The "conspiracy" with SSDs is the NAND manufacturers charging far more for their product than it costs to produce.

And thanks to the manufacturers working together we even get legalized price fixing...

When even a crippled 40GB SSD that is called "value" costs almost 100£ something is definitely wrong.
Lucky me for jumping on the ssd bandwagon early enough to avoid the price increases, but upgrading to a bigger one is currently just not possible.
metarinka 20th March 2010, 01:46 Quote
once SSD's get around $1 per Gig I'm down. That means at current performance levels a 128 gig SSD being offered for about $100 at that price and with current performance levels it could replace my OS drive. I find that anything smaller than that gets useless as once you install windows you barely have enough room to install 1 or 2 games.
Elton 20th March 2010, 01:52 Quote
A 60GB SSD for about $100 sounds good.

Or a 80GB SSD for that price, once they get that cheap it's much better.
Farfalho 20th March 2010, 02:09 Quote
I wanna see prices droping like ww2 aircrafts shot down, I only wish for a 250/256GB SSD since I have had 2x250GB WD RE in RAID 0 and never got to fill it up to half capacity, now having 250GB as boot drive, it never gets filled. For simple storage HDD are the way to go, more than one SSD is just ludicrous, not for people with plenty of chaching.
outlawaol 20th March 2010, 02:35 Quote
Well, this is a good thing. Like every innovation though it'll cost some at the beginning. At current platter drive prices though, it doesn't bother me to have redundant drives sitting around with the same info on them (RAW pics). With the current SSD prices, that just is not feesable. And from the look of it wont be for awhile either.

Now that does not mean I would not get 3-4 SSD's and RAID them for some extreme performance! :D
The_Beast 20th March 2010, 03:06 Quote
Good


is there any performance increase with the move to 25nm?
Goty 20th March 2010, 07:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Beast
Good


is there any performance increase with the move to 25nm?

SSDs derive their performance from the ability to perform many parallel writes to a number of NAND chips, so increasing the density of an individual chip won't do much for performance compared to increasing the number of chips you're writing to (though any performance increase in read/write rates to a single chip will obviously be multiplied).
Paradigm Shifter 20th March 2010, 11:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzban
25nm! Holy-****. There isn't many numbers left..lol. What's it gonna be in a few years, Micro Nanometer?

Next logical step would be picometre (1x10^-12) but I suspect they will use Angstroms first (1x10^-10). Failing that, they'll do what they did with microns (1x10^-6) and talk about "0.25um" and "0.13um" before switching to picometres. This is, of course, ignoring the limitations imposed by atomic size, and looking purely at the naming conventions.
Anfield 20th March 2010, 17:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by outlawaol

Now that does not mean I would not get 3-4 SSD's and RAID them for some extreme performance! :D

You can't raid SSDs, Trim doesn't work in Raid, while of course you can still Raid them to show off some impressive benchmark numbers its useless to raid ssds for normal usage as they will just get slower.
yougotkicked 20th March 2010, 19:09 Quote
it's great to see progress, but flash memory still has a ways to go before it has a legitimate chance at replacing hard disks as the data storage standard. though this should make the SSD market much more appealing for us enthusiasts.
John_T 22nd March 2010, 00:21 Quote
Given the speed & acoustic improvements over HDDs, SSDs are definitely worth a premium - just not nearly what that premium is at the moment!

As a couple of people above have said, I think around a £1 per 1GB would be the psychological tipping point for my first foray...
LordPyrinc 23rd March 2010, 01:01 Quote
I remember buying a 4GB mechanical hardrive in 1997 for $400.
[USRF]Obiwan 23rd March 2010, 11:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordPyrinc
I remember buying a 4GB mechanical hardrive in 1997 for $400.

I remember buying a 10MB HD in 1986 for 600 ;)
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