Feeds

Intel and Micron team up for flash fab

New NAND chip plant

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

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. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.