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Micron Intros the World's Smallest 128Gb NAND Flash Device

By - Source: TechPowerUp | B 24 comments

Micron's new flash memory device stores 128 Gb in just 146 mm2 of space

At the International Solid-State Circuits Conference taking place on February 19th, Micron is expected to present a paper on its new 128 Gb (gigabit) flash memory device which measures just 146 mm² and is currently the smallest of its kind. The device utilities the company's 20 nanometer processing technology and a triple-level-cell (TLC) that stores 3 bits of data per cell and is more than 25 per cent smaller than the company's current multi-level-cell (MLC) devices.

Glen Hawk, Vice-President of Micron's NAND Solutions Group has stated that the device would be "empowering a new class of consumer storage applications" and is primarily aimed at the removable storage market (specifically memory cards and USB flash drives) which is expected to constitute 35 percent of the NAND market in 2013. 

Micron is currently sampling the 128 Gb TLC device with "select partners" and should be available for purchase by Q2 2013 at a yet to be determined price.

 

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  • 17 Hide
    A Bad Day , February 17, 2013 7:19 PM
    I wonder how many write cycles can the 20nm Flash take? Every Flash shrinkage usually results in reduction of max write cycles it can tolerate, requiring more wear-reduction measures.

    Though on the plus side, there's nothing wrong with SSDs being cheaper. :D 
Other Comments
  • 17 Hide
    A Bad Day , February 17, 2013 7:19 PM
    I wonder how many write cycles can the 20nm Flash take? Every Flash shrinkage usually results in reduction of max write cycles it can tolerate, requiring more wear-reduction measures.

    Though on the plus side, there's nothing wrong with SSDs being cheaper. :D 
  • 1 Hide
    danwat1234 , February 17, 2013 7:39 PM
    Probably still over 100TB of writes but who knows
  • 7 Hide
    athulajp , February 17, 2013 8:35 PM
    A Bad DayI wonder how many write cycles can the 20nm Flash take? Every Flash shrinkage usually results in reduction of max write cycles it can tolerate, requiring more wear-reduction measures.Though on the plus side, there's nothing wrong with SSDs being cheaper.


    Weren't there some engineers in Taiwan who were working on some solution for slowing down wear on SSD's. I think it had something to do with heating the memory after writing.
  • 6 Hide
    merikafyeah , February 17, 2013 9:04 PM
    I would be EXTREMELY surprised if a consumer can wear out an SSD from purely maxing out the write count. 120 GB SSDs should last more than 5 years even if you were to write 10GBs to it every day non-stop for the whole 5 years.

    But 5 years from now would you still be using the same 120 GB drive? ALL things wear out in time, especially storage mediums, and they're replaced by newer, better technology. The only things that can be expected to reliably store data for decades are M-Discs, but those only store as much as a DVD (for now).
  • 0 Hide
    susyque747 , February 17, 2013 9:46 PM
    Wow, just wow.
  • 0 Hide
    game junky , February 17, 2013 10:12 PM
    I am interested to see the performance specs and longevity figures for these - smaller fabrication means they can pack more storage into smaller devices. I am imagining smart phones and digital cameras with massive internal storage - add in new wireless standards for synchronizing to a computer and cloud storage platforms and things just keep looking easier and faster.

    Keep it coming, guys
  • 0 Hide
    didyoucheckyourtcpip , February 17, 2013 11:46 PM
    That's only 16GB (Gb=Gigabit, GB=Gigabyte, 1 byte=8 bits). That's somewhat misleading advertising for storage technology.
  • 0 Hide
    freggo , February 17, 2013 11:51 PM
    didyoucheckyourtcpipThat's only 16GB (Gb=Gigabit, GB=Gigabyte, 1 byte=8 bits). That's somewhat misleading advertising for storage technology.



    "Only 16GB" ... oh, how times have changed :-)
  • 5 Hide
    chewy1963 , February 18, 2013 12:20 AM
    didyoucheckyourtcpipThat's only 16GB (Gb=Gigabit, GB=Gigabyte, 1 byte=8 bits). That's somewhat misleading advertising for storage technology.


    They are talking about a new chip, not a new complete storage device. It is common on the chip level to specify memory in bits instead of bytes. I'm sure when the chip is used in say an SD card, it will give the capacity in bytes.
  • 0 Hide
    adgjlsfhk , February 18, 2013 2:39 AM
    yes, but that means that 128 GB is only about 3.4x3.4 cm. Not that big
  • -3 Hide
    master_chen , February 18, 2013 3:54 AM
    DAYUM that's one small SSD we'll have soon!
  • -1 Hide
    alidan , February 18, 2013 4:33 AM
    A Bad DayI wonder how many write cycles can the 20nm Flash take? Every Flash shrinkage usually results in reduction of max write cycles it can tolerate, requiring more wear-reduction measures.Though on the plus side, there's nothing wrong with SSDs being cheaper.


    well. if you use these as just a storage drive, where you install apps on and have the scratch disc elsewhere, the write tolerance isnt a problem at all.
    merikafyeahI would be EXTREMELY surprised if a consumer can wear out an SSD from purely maxing out the write count. 120 GB SSDs should last more than 5 years even if you were to write 10GBs to it every day non-stop for the whole 5 years.But 5 years from now would you still be using the same 120 GB drive? ALL things wear out in time, especially storage mediums, and they're replaced by newer, better technology. The only things that can be expected to reliably store data for decades are M-Discs, but those only store as much as a DVD (for now).


    old intel 60gb drive were tested at 100gb of data a day, and went on for what, 10 years...
    granted old tech lasted longer, but point being, most home users out side of a scratch disc will never kill these drives on write alone unless they are being retarded on how they use them.
    now as to in 5 years will we still use a 120gb drive...
    yea... probably...
    i have a 250gb drive from 9 years ago still going... its not a common day use drive anymore, but i could see using my current 2 year old intel ssd for another 3 to 6 years, i may replace it as a boot drive, but it would still be a drive that stays in common use.

    freggo"Only 16GB" ... oh, how times have changed :-)


    correct me if my math is wrong, but wouldn't that come out to 2gb a chip than...
    i always just translate the number to be gigabyte and make assumptions that way instead of gigabit
    it would be really nice if toms stopped using abbreviations when the abbreviation isn't obvious, and did a conversion for us into something more commonly used.

    like how internet is rated at 75mbit but really comes to about 5-7 megabyte down

    adgjlsfhkyes, but that means that 128 GB is only about 3.4x3.4 cm. Not that big

    quick math here
    3.14x150^2
    50000/70685 (waffer base price estimate)
    .70 cents per square mm

    3.4x3.4 = 1156
    1156x.70
    809$
    and its at this point i realized that something is wrong in my math... or in current prices on wafferes, one of the two...
  • 0 Hide
    chewy1963 , February 18, 2013 4:41 AM
    Quote:
    correct me if my math is wrong, but wouldn't that come out to 2gb a chip than...
    i always just translate the number to be gigabyte and make assumptions that way instead of gigabit
    it would be really nice if toms stopped using abbreviations when the abbreviation isn't obvious, and did a conversion for us into something more commonly used.

    like how internet is rated at 75mbit but really comes to about 5-7 megabyte down


    Your math is correct, but we're talking about a 128 gigabit chip, so the chip's capacity is 16 gigabytes (if it were configured that way).

    One could consider that intel's and AMD's current processors use 64 bit 'words' I suppose. Then you could call it 2 gigawords...
  • 0 Hide
    chewy1963 , February 18, 2013 4:48 AM
    Quote:
    quick math here
    3.14x150^2
    50000/70685 (waffer base price estimate)
    .70 cents per square mm

    3.4x3.4 = 1156
    1156x.70
    809$
    and its at this point i realized that something is wrong in my math... or in current prices on wafferes, one of the two...


    Well, this time you have a decimal place error....

    3.4x3.4=11.56 (not 1156)

    thereby making the chip cost as follows:

    11.56x0.70=8.092 ($8.09 rounded)
  • 0 Hide
    chewy1963 , February 18, 2013 4:58 AM
    Wow, the article says it's a 146 square mm chip... which means bad day not only got the size wrong (should be 12.09x12.09 (mm) but it takes a whole step out of the cost calculation

    146 x 0.70 = $102.20 (if the cost per square mm is correct)
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 18, 2013 9:54 AM
    "Well, this time you have a decimal place error....

    3.4x3.4=11.56 (not 1156)"

    3.4 cm x 3.4 cm = 11.56 cm² = 1156 mm²


    "Wow, the article says it's a 146 square mm chip... which means bad day not only got the size wrong (should be 12.09x12.09 (mm) but it takes a whole step out of the cost calculation"

    1. It wasn't bad day
    2. That math was in reply to a quote, not the article
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , February 18, 2013 10:11 AM
    I've had an Intel 320 series 128GB SSD in my desktop as the primary drive since about July, i think, and total host writes till now is 1.56TB with 3.35TB reads.

    I think that equates to about 7GB of writes per day.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , February 18, 2013 3:12 PM
    If this means one day I can get a Pico Drive, USB3.0, with a 1Tb capacity then this is a great idea and let's keep going in that direction
  • 3 Hide
    carbon12 , February 18, 2013 5:17 PM
    didyoucheckyourtcpipThat's only 16GB (Gb=Gigabit, GB=Gigabyte, 1 byte=8 bits). That's somewhat misleading advertising for storage technology.

    No it's not... Standard memory ICs are specified in bits, kbits, Mbits and Gbits. That is the unit of measurement in the chip from the foundry, the number of bits.

    It's not really that hard to divide by 8 and 1024 a couple of times.
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , February 18, 2013 6:42 PM
    didyoucheckyourtcpipThat's only 16GB (Gb=Gigabit, GB=Gigabyte, 1 byte=8 bits). That's somewhat misleading advertising for storage technology.


    Bytes can have different value depending on the context. For example, a byte transfer on many interfaces (such as USB, all versions of PCIe prior to PCIe 3.0, and many more) consists of ten bits instead of eight. Measuring in bits is done because bits does not have multiple values depending on the context. One bit is always one bit and measuring storage in bits gives an exact number for storage rather than a number that can have varying accuracy. That makes bits (with appropriate prefixes for large numbers) the more accurate way of measuring storage capacity.
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