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TSullivan

Intel and Micron Show Off New 20nm NAND Flash Discussion

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Just when you thought things were starting to calm down with the news surrounding 25nm NAND, Intel and Micron have now just announced new, and even smaller, 20nm NAND. Claiming 30 to 40 percent reduction in size over 25nm flash, this new 20nm process will allow for far greater capacities, lowered costs, as well as another step down in write cycles.

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It sounds like IMFT is dedicated to being the fastest process shrinker in the flash storage industry. That ought to make them a ton of money (smaller chips, easier to make lots of 'em) but I'm also wondering about things like ONFI 3 compliance. If they can get their flash to perform better as they do process shrinks, it means better performance for every SSD that uses them and that's something I'd be excited about.

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While I agree in the technical accuracy of saying that 20nm flash should have lower write durability the tone of the piece is a big shift vs the tone of http://www.anandtech.com/show/4271/intel-micron-announce-first-20nm-mlc-nand-flash-for-use-in-ssds and the discussion there.

Apparently IMFT is claiming similar write cycle limits (durability) and Anand is saying they likely under reported durability at higher nm geometries to avoid having to lower the specs as much each time they went to a new process node.

I can understand after what OCZ pulled why you would be cautious about this in terms of performance and want to keep that in mind. I'm just not sure that from a durability standpoint the 34/25nm switchover matters to me or the average user. Hopefully all the players will handle the next transition better when it comes to transparency about performance and pricing. Heck hopefully all the players will handle this transition better than OCZ did (since it isn't over yet).

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Right now I think the only players really concerned about this (besides the consumers wondering if a drive might last as long... it will) are write-heavy enterprise users who actually reach rated lifespans on drives. Anyone else is just kidding themselves unless they find themselves in a situation where they write the total capacity of the drive each day.

I kind of wish for times like these we had a stack of drives that we just didnt care about, that we could write to until they died and record the final number. Having some real world figure in your hand saying "Hey I got XXX TB out of this drive" would be so much better than just having a NAND cycle spec or TBW figure to go off from the manufacturer.

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With the sustained write speed of most current SSDs, I would imagine it's possible to completely exhaust the write cycles of an SSD in a month or so if it was constantly written to at maximum speed. So it's definitely doable if you have either the money or the sponsors.

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You'd need a minimum of 3 drives, though, which would have to be as identical as possible. If they all perform similarly one can assume that this is representative of what other users will experience. If they differ a lot you'd know you need better statistics.

MrS

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Just when you thought things were starting to calm down with the news surrounding 25nm NAND, Intel and Micron have now just announced new, and even smaller, 20nm NAND. Claiming 30 to 40 percent reduction in size over 25nm flash, this new 20nm process will allow for far greater capacities, lowered costs, as well as another step down in write cycles.

Read Full Article

what do you mean by that? I read same 5000 cycles

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For the average buyer, this news shouldn't have much effect on what you see in devices right now. Currently SSD manufacturers are still making the transition from 32/34nm NAND down to 25nm, with no one currently talking about plans of moving to 20nm just ye

Yeah, said the guy who doesn't have a iPad or newer iPhone< that's what *is*, and has been driving this market for some time now, just IT folks and the likes don't want to admit it. Those "samples" made by whoever, Toshiba, Samsung, or IMFT; I can guarantee you are going into prototype next Gen iPads & iPhones ASAP. Of course other markets for NAND like SSD's for laptops, soon to be obsolete desktop computers, and workstation/enterprise benefit from the ever present driving forces ^see above :D

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