Micron’s 34nm Process to Boost SSD Capacities

Micron’s 34nm Process to Boost SSD Capacities
Intel is rumoured to be working on upping its SSD storage capacity to 320GB soon through the die shrink technology developed by its Flash partner Micron. The Intel Micron Flash Technologies joint venture between the two companies first achieved success with a 34nm process last year and is now intent on taking it to the next step.
After comprehensively testing its 34nm technology, Micron is reportedly ready to move into commercial production of both two-bits-per cell multi-level cell (MLC) and single-level cell (SLC) chips. It is already testing out 16GB and 32GB MLC and faster 8GB and 16GB SLC chips.
The 16GB and 32GB chips are based on an ONFI 2.1 synchronous interface that allows them to achieve transfer speeds of up to 200MB/sec. Both the SLC and MLC chips are much smaller in size than earlier models. While the SLC models are premium ones with faster transfer speeds and lower power consumption, the MLC ones are ideal for budget SSDs.
According to Micron, the new die shrink has reduced the side of its MLC 32GB NAND chips by 17 percent while the 16GB chips are just 84mm2. This super small size of the base NAND Flash chips has now raised the distinct possibility of its partner Intel increasing the storage capacity on its SSD offerings. Rumour mills are working overtime forecasting a 320GB offering from the chipmaker in the near future.
Brian Shirley, vice president of Micron’s memory group said, “Our industry-leading NAND products are opening new possibilities for some of the world’s most popular consumer electronic devices. With our new 16- and 32GB NAND chips in mass production, we are enabling customers to design cost-effective, high-capacity storage in their small-form factor products, using less space and fewer die. In addition, the high-speed interface is ideal in the industry’s quest to continue to increase throughput performance for SSDs.”
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