These days if you’re not in some sort of partnership, then you can forget about developing super-small NAND flash memory chips.
Earlier this month we had the announcement from Intel and Micron about their latest 20nm process technology for building said chips, and today we have Toshiba and SanDisk going one better (1nm that is. They announced the 19nm 64Gb (8GB) X2 memory chip or for the moment, the smallest NAND flash memory chip in the world. Toshiba and SanDisk have been together for some time now, even having joint ownership of the Yokkaichi SSD Japanese production plant and this is the latest result from their fruitful partnership.
Yoram Cedar, executive vice president and chief technology officer, SanDisk said: "Products based on this technology are designed to enable new applications, form factors and consumer experience that will continue to drive the flash industry to new heights." They plan to begin sampling the monolithic chips this quarter and they hope high-volume production will begin in the second half of this year. Also in the second half of this year, SanDisk said it will add 3-bits-per-cell (X3) products fabricated with the 19nm process technology to its product lineup. This latest improvement, along with Intel and Micron’s now bloated-looking 20nm chips, should mean we begin to see higher storage capacity in smartphones and tablets without added bulk.
With the possibility of a 128GB SSD less than the size of a postage stamp now a reality thanks to advances like this, we hope that as well as reducing bulk in our gadgets, we will see a lowering of prices of SSDs, which until now have been prohibitively high.