Intel and Micron jointly announced today the development of a new 20nm manufacturing process for the creation of NAND flash memory. The new fabrication technologies allow the company to fit more storage space into a smaller physical package. For customers, that means that SSDs, tablets, smartphones and more can all enjoy size boosts.
Each of the above images showcases an 8GB flash memory device built on varying generations of flash process technology. The new 20nm process allows for a size savings of up to 40%, which would allow components such as solid state drives to almost double their capacity while retaining their (generally) 2.5-inch form factor. The move could also give mobile device manufacturers the choice between increasing storage space or using the extra space savings to add additional improvements.
The two companies plan to have the 8GB chips built on top of the 20nm process ready for mass adoption and production by the second half of this year; in fact, the chips are being sampled around now. Progress never stops, however, and the companies also mentioned that by the time this 8GB unit hits mass production status, samples of a 16GB unit will be sent around, allowing for “up to 128GB of capacity…smaller than a U.S. postage stamp.”