Intel and Micron Technology claim to have introduced the smallest NAND chip available for consumer storage devices.
The 32-gigabit, multi-level cell, NAND flash chip was built using the companies' 34-nanometer manufacturing process, which produces 3-bits per cell. The new product, designed and manufactured by IM Flash Technology, the companies' joint venture, is targeted at manufacturers of flash cards, USB drives, and other devices.
Samples of the chip are available and mass production is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter. The partners plan to introduce even smaller chips in the future.
"The move to 3bpc is yet another proof point to the remarkable progress Intel and Micron have made in 34-nm NAND development," Randy Wilhelm, VP and general manager of Intel's NAND Solutions Group, said.
Along with chips for consumer storage devices, Intel and Micron also offer 34-nm NAND flash memory chips for MP3 players, mobile phones, digital cameras, and other devices. Last November, the companies introduced a 34-nm, 64-GB chip that's smaller than a thumbnail.
Hitachi is a customer of the Intel, Micron joint venture. Last December, Intel announced that it had partnered with Hitachi to make solid-state drives for servers, workstations, and storage systems, using technology developed by IM Flash Technology. The drives, scheduled for release in early 2010, will be available with serial attached SCSI and Fibre Channel interfaces.
Hitachi, which bought IBM's storage business in 2003, is the third-largest maker of hard-disk drives, following Seagate Technology and Western Digital, respectively.
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