The new 20nm process from Hynix promises better yields and double capacity chips for future SSDs.
Hynix has announced that it has begun mass production of 64Gb NAND flash chips based around a 20nm process, opening up the possibility of another leap in SSD capacity.
The company's latest 20nm process means that it is able to produce 64Gb NAND flash chips the same physical size as its previous 32Gb models - theoretically allowing manufacturers using the older models to drop-in the new replacements for an instant doubling of capacity, or giving them the opportunity to use half as many chips for the same capacity in order to reduce costs or make power savings.
Pricing should improve as a result of the move, too: the company claims that its 300mm fabrication facility can get around 60 per cent better yields than the previous 30nm process - and better yields mean better prices, although how much of this saving might get passed down to the consumer level remains to be seen.
Dr. S. W. Park, the chief technology officer at the company, said that the move means that Hynix is now "enabled to provide customized, high performance products in a timely manner which perfectly suits mobile solutions including smartphones, table PCs and others.
So far no companies have announced that they are planning to use the new 20nm chips in their products, although Hynix has announced that it will be continuing its partnership with Israel-based SSD manufacturer Anobit and is looking to upgrade its devices to the new chips by September this year.
With solid-state storage becoming increasingly popular, moves like this are required in order to get the cost-per-megabyte down: while current models offer the capacity and performance required of, say, a boot drive, they're still priced out of the reach of many - especially if you're planning on using them for mass storage.
Are you thinking about holding out on an SSD purchase until 20nm becomes the norm, or are companies switching to Hynix's latest chips just likely to keep the cost savings for themselves? Share your thoughts over in the forums