Demonstrating their commitment to move quickly up the technology leadership curve, Micron and Intel today announced they are sampling the industry's first NAND flash memory built on industry-leading 50 nanometer (nm) process technology. The samples were manufactured through IM Flash Technologies, a joint development and manufacturing venture from Micron and Intel. Both companies are sampling 4 gigabit (Gb) devices now, with plans to mass produce a range of densities on the 50nm node in 2007.
This move to 50nm process technology will enable Intel and Micron to meet the growing demand for higher density NAND flash across a range of computing and consumer electronics applications such as digital music players, removable storage and handheld communications devices. According to industry research forecasts, the NAND market segment is estimated to reach $13 to $16 billion in 2006 and grow to approximately $25 to $30 billion by 2010.
"Micron entered the NAND business in 2004 using a 90 nm process. In a few short years and through our collaboration with Intel, we are now poised to introduce a leadership product based on a cutting-edge process technology," said Brian Shirley, Micron vice president of memory. "Micron will continue its commitment to NAND with a rapid transition to the 50nm process and through continued work on advanced nodes for the introduction of even higher density products."
"Our entry into the NAND flash business has been an incredibly fast ramp," said Brian Harrison, vice president and general manager, Flash Memory Group, Intel. "We started shipping products to customers in the first quarter of this year, and we're seeing very high demand across multiple flash densities. Working with Micron, we are poised to transition quickly to the 50 nm process technology and beyond."
Micron and Intel formed IM Flash Technologies (IMFT) in January to manufacture NAND flash memory products for the two companies. IMFT has been aggressively ramping its manufacturing facilities since the company's formation. Micron is currently supplying the venture NAND flash from its Boise fabrication facilities, and Micron's 300 mm facility in Manassas, Va., will be online later this year to supply IMFT with NAND. Meanwhile, the Lehi, Utah facility that is dedicated to IMFT and serves as its headquarters is expected to be online producing NAND early next year.