Intel, Micron Give Birth to World's First 20nm 128 Gigabit MLC Device

Paul Lilly

The joint collaboration between chip giants Intel and Micron has resulted in a new benchmark in NAND flash technology. Specifically, the two tech gurus announced the world's first 20nm (not just nanometer- class , but an actual 20nm process) 128Gb (gigabit) multilevel-cell (MLC) device they say is ideal for small form factor tablets, smartphones, solid state drives, and high-performance compute devices.

It was developed through Intel and Micron's joint-development venture, IM Flash Technologies (IMFT), and is the first in the industry to enable a terabit (Tb) of data storage in a finger-tip size package by using just eight die. The new part offers twice the storage capacity and performance of IMFT's existing 20nm 64Gb NAND device, and meets the high-speed ONFI 3.0 specification to achieve speeds of 333 megatransfers per second (MT/s).

"As portable devices get smaller and sleeker, and server demands increase, our customers look to Micron for innovative new storage technologies and system solutions that meet these challenges," said Glen Hawk , vice president of Micron's NAND Solutions Group. "Our collaboration with Intel continues to deliver leading NAND technologies and expertise that are critical to building those systems."

Playing with 20nm NAND isn't without its challenges, and to make announcements like this possible, Intel and Micron used an innovative new "planar cell structure" that enables more aggressive cell scaling than conventional architectures. It's the first cell structure to integrate Hi-K/metal gate stack on NAND production, Intel says.

Image Credit: Intel

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