Intel and Micron Technologies have jointly created the smallest NAND flash chip ever produced. These new chips drastically increase the storage density versus space that can be achieved in solid state hard drives and thumb drives. In addition to increasing the amount of storage capacity, they’ve also shrunk the die down to 20nm from the 65nm size that is used in current flash memory.
Normally a die shrink with flash memory also decreases the longevity of the memory. Current 65nm flash memory is rated for 5,000-10,000 erase cycles, but 25nm memory only has a 3,000-5,000 erase endurance. These new chips won’t have this loss of endurance because of a special design that results in much smaller transistors while retaining the same endurance of standard 65nm chips. Intel has also designed a new interface for this memory that will almost double the read/write speeds that are possible.
Put simply, these new chips and their unique design will allow solid-state drives in 2.5″ laptop format to perform faster while storing up to 2TB of data. Thumb drives using this new technology will be capable of holding up to 1TB of data in the same form factor that is common to thumb/flash drives that are currently on the market. Thumb drives using this technology will be capable of storing four times the data that the current largest thumb drive can with higher transfer speeds and a lower cost.