Feeds

Flash chip makers promise bigger, cheaper SSDs

Intel and Micron go 25nm

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Chip giant Intel and its Flash-making friend Micron have begun producing solid-state storage chippery at the 25nm 'node', a move that will boost storage capacities and cut costs to consumers.

During 2009, Intel released its first solid-state drives (SSDs) based on 34nm Flash chips produced by the subsidiary it jointly owns with Micron.

The smaller the node, the more transistors chip makers can cram onto a standard 300mm wafer - the circular sheets of silicon on which chips are engraved and then sliced out as individual products for packaging.

Not all of chips punched from each wafer work, of course. So fine are the lines of circuitry within each chip - be it memory, Flash or microprocessor - that glitches are inevitable. Chips are tested and the duff ones destroyed. The number of working ones is called the yield, and it's the goal of every chip maker to increase their yields.

The cost of a wafer produced at a given process node is the same, so the fewer chips you need to throw away, the more you can sell. And the more chips you can etch into a wafer the better, too. This increases the likelihood of a given chip being good after its been cut out of the wafer.

New production nodes take time to 'bed in', so yields tend to be low at the start and improve over time. But once 25nm is up and running, it won't be long before the combination of greater numbers of Flash chips to start with, plus better and better yields, lead to cheaper chips - and so, in turn, cheaper SSDs.

Estimates put the price of 25nm Flash at about $0.50 (£0.32) per gigabyte - assuming all the chips are good. The price for 45nm Flash is $1.75 (£1.10) per gigabyte.

And because the Flash chips are smaller, SSD makers can cram more into the same space, upping drive storage capacities.

It takes 64 34nm chips to make a 256GB SSD. The same drive can be made with only 32 25nm chips. So you can have cheaper 256GB SSDs or opt for pricier - but not double the price - 512GB SSDs.

Intel and Micron are producing sample chips now, but hope to begin mass-production in Q2. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Raspberry Pi B+: PHWOAR, get a load of those pins
More USB ports than your laptop? You'd better believe it...
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.