Intel and Micron today announced the world's first 20 nanometer (nm), 128 gigabit (Gb), multilevel-cell (MLC) device. The companies also announced mass production of their 64Gb 20nm NAND.
Developed through Intel and Micron's joint-development venture, IM Flash Technologies (IMFT), the new 20nm monolithic 128Gb device is the first in the industry to enable a terabit (Tb) of data storage in a fingertip-size package by using just eight die. It also provides twice the storage capacity and performance of the companies' existing 20nm 64Gb NAND device. The 128Gb device meets the high-speed ONFI 3.0 specification to achieve speeds of 333 megatransfers per second (MT/s).
The companies also revealed that the key to their success with 20nm process technology is due to an innovative new cell structure that enables more aggressive cell scaling than conventional architectures.
The companies claim that their 20nm NAND planar cell structure overcomes the inherent difficulties that accompany advanced process technology, enabling performance and reliability on par with the previous generation. This allows for identical 3-5K write cycling as found in the 25nm MLC NAND.
"The planar cell structure successfully breaks the scaling constraints of the standard NAND floating gate cell by integrating the first Hi-K/metal gate stack on NAND production," the companies said in a statement.
Intel and Micron noted that the December production ramp of their 20nm 64Gb NAND flash product will enable a rapid transition to the 128Gb device in 2012. Samples of the 128Gb device will be available in January, closely followed by mass production in the first half of 2012.