SAN FRANCISCOMicron Technology Inc. this week announced 34-nm NAND flash memory devices targeted at enterprise applications. The chips are said to offer significantly better endurance than standard NAND devices.
Micron (Boise, Idaho) introduced a multi-level cell (MLC) NAND product that achieves 30,000 write cycles, according to the company, six times the endurance achievable by standard MLC NAND. The company also announced a single-level cell (SLC) NAND device capable of 300,000 write cycles.
Some memory industry watchers have questioned whether MLC NAND devices could offer the endurance needed for enterprise storage applications. According to Kevin Kilback, director of marketing for Micron's NAND group, Micron was able to offer improved endurance thanks to the maturity of its 34-nm manufacturing processwhich went into production in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Kilback said the enterprise-class devices are manufactured using Micron's standard 34-nm process. The company selects wafers coming off the line that it thinks will meet the higher endurance requirements and conducts further testing, he said. There is no difference in terms of design or wafer process, he said.
"A customer that has designed in the standard MLC or SLC can pretty much just drop these parts in and benefit from additional reliability," Kilback said.
The new enterprise NAND products support the ONFI 2.1synchronous interface, delivering four to five times better data transfer rates compared to legacy NAND interfaces, according to Micron. The 34-nm enterprise NAND portfolio includes a 32-Gb MLC NAND chip and a 16-Gb SLC NAND chip that can be configured into multi-die, single packages supporting densities up to 32-GB MLC and 16-GB SLC, respectively, Micron said.
The company said it is now sampling its the products with customers and controller manufacturers. They are expected to be in volume producton in early 2010, Micron said.