Feeds

Intel and Micron team up for flash fab

New NAND chip plant

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Intel and Micron will start building a new fabrication plant for NAND flash chips by the end of the year, according to a DigiTimes report.

Toshiba will have a new flash fab coming online in Japan in early 2011, and building should start this month. Samsung also has a new fab in South Korea coming online next year. Flash fabs cost a lot of money and manufacturers are reluctant to invest in them unless they can see a certain demand for the capacity. The industry swings between flash chip scarcity and over-supply when manufacturing capacity is out of step with demand.

The most recent bout of over-supply led to industry consolidation with, for example, Micron buying Numonyx earlier this year.

In the past couple of years there has been a surge in smartphone sales with a significant increase in flash demand. The use of flash in storage for other gadgets has also increased.

Toshiba has bought into Violin Memory and Samsung investing in Fusion-io, both signs that flash fab operators want to secure upstream channels for the output from their fabs. There has also been the recent rise in the tablet form-factor device, led by Apple's iPad, which is flash-based, for now.

Intel is working with disk drive manufacturer Hitachi GST to develop a solid state disk (SSD). Micron flash is being used by storage vendors such as Nimbus Data. Seagate has developed the Momentus XT, a hybrid flash and spinning disk drive and Toshiba is is considering a similar product. A common view of drive array futures is that a two-tier product will emerge, with the most active data held in flash and the rest stored in bulk capacity SATA drives.

Altogether it looks as if there has been a significant and sustainable increase in flash demand with growth continuing.

Intel and Micron partner in IMTF with the two companies sharing output from their fabs. They will be convinced that the industry will not return to over-supply with a NAND chip glut destroying manufacturers' profitability.

Intel has just reported its best ever quarter and can well afford the investment. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
Gartner: To the right, to the right – biz sync firms who've won in a box to the right...
Magic quadrant: Top marks for, er, completeness of vision, EMC
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.