IM Flash Technologies, a joint venture between chip makers Intel and Micron, has introduced its first development process for the fabrication of 20nm 128Gb (Gigabit) NAND Flash storage chips.
The companies said the chips would allow for the development of high-density storage systems. Using the chips, manufacturers will be able to develop storage devices that can hold 1TB of data on a space the size of a fingertip.
Among the technologies used to develop the 128Gb process is the use of a new cell-structure design. The system allows engineers to bypass previous scaling limits and integrate Intel's High-K/Metal gate system into the NAND platform.
"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," said Intel non-volatile memory solutions group vice president and general manager Rob Crooke.
"Through the utilisation of planar cell structure and High-K/Metal gate stack, IM Flash Technologies continues to advance the technological capabilities of our NAND Flash memory solutions to enable exciting new products, services and form factors," he added.
The announcement of the next-generation NAND technology comes as the firms are beginning mass production of 64Gb 20nm chips. Developed by their IM Flash Technologies joint venture, the 64Gb chips are now in production. Intel and Micron expect the platform to form the basis for the 128Gb process, which is set to begin mid-2012.
Intel and Micron have had a long-standing partnership focused on the development of Flash memory manufacturing. The two firms have in recent years partnered to develop 25nm and 20nm fabrication processes.
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