Intel Corp. plans to update its family of solid-state drives (SSDs) with next-generation NAND flash multi-level cell (MLC) memory made using 20nm process technology in the third quarter of next year. In addition, the chipmaker intends to introduce new 5-series SSDs with 25nm MLC NAND flash in Q1 2012. Both moves will allow Intel to expand capacities and introduce new price-points of SSDs.
At present, manufacturers of NAND flash produce MLC memory using 20nm-class process technology, which means that some makers use 28nm fabrication process, other use 26nm manufacturing technology and so on. At present, Intel uses 34nm MLC flash memory for its advanced SSDs, 25nm MLC NAND for mainstream SSDs and 25nm MLC HET (high endurance technology) for enterprise-class solid-state drives. Starting the third quarter of next year Intel will also utilize 20nm NAND flash memory for its solid-state drives, according to a document from Intel that has been published on the Internet.
In the first quarter of 2012 Intel plans to introduce code-named Cherryville solid-state drives that will fit into 5-series SSD family. The drives will be based on 25nm MLC memory and will offer 60GB, 120GB, 180GB, 240GB and 480GB capacities.
In the third quarter of 2012 the world’s largest chipmaker intends to offer code-named King Crest solid-state drives, which will utilize 20nm MLC NAND flash memory. While capacity points, prices and other peculiarities of the KC drives are unknown, it is highly likely that the new drives will cost less than existing offerings from Intel.
Intel did not comment on the news-story as the plans are not made public.