LONDON – Intel Corp. and Micron Technology Inc. have announced the development of a 128-Gbit NAND flash memory made using an improved 20-nm manufacturing process technology for flash that includes high-K metal gate (HKMG) transistors.
The companies claimed it is the world's first monolithic 128-Gbit memory and said they are going into mass production of a 64-Gbit 20-nm NAND flash part in the same process immediately and expect to ramp production of the 128-Gbit device in the first half of 2012.
Intel and Micron did not describe the process as being 20-nm class, something that other manufacturers have done to refer to process that is somewhere between 20- and 29-nm. It has previously been reported that Intel and Micron had a 64-Gbit NAND flash was implemented in a 25-nm process.
The latest parts were developed at Intel and Micron's joint venture, IM Flash Technologies (IMFT). The 128-Gbit memory uses multilevel sensing in each cell, although the companies did not indicate how many bits per cell. The companies also said the part is the first to use a planar cell structure that overcomes scaling constraints on standard floating-gate NAND flash memories by integrating the HKMG gate stack on NAND production. HKMG gate-stack transistors have been in used by Intel for logic processes for several nodes, but this is believed to tbe the first application to a memory component.
Intel and Micron said they are ramping production of the 20-nm 64-Gbit NAND flash memory in December and would expect a rapid transition to the 128-Gbit device in 2012. Samples of the 128-Gbit device will be available in January, followed by mass production in 1H12.
The 128-Gbit memory meets the supports 333 megatransfers per second supporting applications in smartphones, tablet computers and solid-state drives. For modules eight 128-Gbit die will provide a terabit of storage.
"It is gratifying to see the continued NAND leadership from the Intel-Micron joint development with yet more firsts as our manufacturing teams deliver these high-density, low-cost, compute-quality 20-nm NAND devices," said Rob Crooke, Intel vice president and general manager of Intel's non-volatile memory solutions division.
Related links and articles:
Samsung fires up world's biggest memory fab
Samsung's 27-nm NAND flash in pictures
Hynix ramps 26-nm NAND flash
Samsung rolls 20-nm class NAND flash
IMFT 25-nm MLC NAND: technology scaling barriers broken