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Micron starts sampling 16nm NAND flash for SSDs

Drives expected next year
Wed Jul 17 2013, 16:05
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MEMORY MAKER Micron has announced that it has fabbed 16nm NAND flash memory chips for solid-state disk (SSD) drives.

Micron is pushing both its DRAM and NAND flash memory chip production to catch up with industry leader Samsung. The firm announced that it has produced multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash chips on a 16nm process node that will end up in SSDs.

According to Micron, its 128-bit MLC 16nm NAND flash chips provide 16GB of storage on a single die. The firm claimed that its 16nm NAND flash fab process is the most advanced process node of any sampling semiconductor device, though Intel could probably argue that it has sampled 14nm chips for its own internal testing.

Micron VP of its NAND Solutions Group Glen Hawk said, "Micron's dedicated team of engineers has worked tirelessly to introduce the world's smallest and most advanced flash manufacturing technology.

"Our customers continually ask for higher capacities in smaller form factors, and this next generation process node allows Micron to lead the market in meeting those demands."

Micron is one of a select few firms that make not only NAND flash chips but also retail SSDs, and it largely competes with Intel and Samsung. The firm also harbours growing ambitions of making SSDs the only storage devices in datacentres, though capacities and prices might have to improve significantly before that ambition becomes a reality.

Micron said it is sampling the 16nm NAND flash chips, with full production expected in the fourth quarter. The firm said that SSD drives using the chips will be available in 2014. µ


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