back to article Shocking new low for SanDisk – 15nm flash chips rolling out its fabs

SanDisk has powered up the smallest NAND process in the industry, 15nm, meaning it should be able to get more working flash chips from each silicon wafer – and thus lower its costs. It's calling this technology "1Z", as 1X is below 20nm, and 1Y is between that and 15nm. These alphabetic suffix boundaries are not standard, and …


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  1. Brenda McViking


    Nice to see that there is still hard technical innovation going on in this industry. Not just petty patent squabbles over the way something looks.

  2. John Tserkezis

    "Nice to see that there is still hard technical innovation going on in this industry."

    There are new advances in silicon every day. Unfortunately, at the consumer level, the only news that gets airtime are fights.

    I used to get raw AAP and Reuters news feeds as part of my job, (I worked on the equipment, and we needed the feeds for testing). Being spoiled for choice in real news is a real problem. When I moved on from that job, I was stuck with regular biased newspapers just like everyone else. As far as they were concerned, the only news worthy of mention was which polititian was invoved with which prostitute, or on a slow news day, UFO reports.

    It all comes down to which news outlet you read.

  3. Bill Neal

    too far?

    I want to believe there is no loss of reliability, but at what point should I worry? Is it not still more reliable to use the last generation with slightly more atoms per bit?

    1. bonkers

      Re: too far?

      If you worry about whether these new devices will work or not, don't...

      We are already some way beyond even remote feasibility - the last lot used "a handful" of electrons (reckoned to be about 80) on the floating gate capacitance to store information for 40 years.

      The new ones count these electrons into tens and give you three bits of information per cell.

      .. and I thought I was bonkers...

  4. Jim 59


    About the same distance a man's beard grows in 1/8 of a second ?


    1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: 15nm

      So they've gone to a 0.125 beard-second fab process? Very impressive. I think this could be a very handy unit for measuring things that are very much sub-linguine in length (pasta's too hard to cut up that small). Editor?

    2. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: 15nm

      I'm replying to my own post above purely in the interest of accuracy.

      Typing 'beard second' into Google gives the suggestion '= 5nm', so if Google is right, then 15nm is actually 3 beard-seconds. Google's answer may be controversial, though.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting to note

    Anyone who knows about physics should know that these nifty little 3 bit per cell storage cells actually store the information according to quantum theory.

    The data isn't actually stored in the cells but in the fuzzy structure of the electron clouds, which is subject to the laws of quantum mechanics.

    The error correction of these is impressive, however it does mean that one well placed high energy particle will cause massive data loss across thousands of cells.

    The manufacturers actually make different "grades" of memory depending on altitude for this reason and in fact special expensive radioisotope free lead or bismuth has to be used for the interconnects due to all lead and bismuth manufactured recently being contaminated from the A-bomb tests from the 1940s onwards.

    One interesting side effect is that some of the newer RAM chips make really nice imaging units for X-rays.

  6. SineWave242

    ha! It's getting a bit tight under 20nm huh? I wonder what's going to be the next revolutionary process to make the chips? Transistor technology is going tits up slowly but more faster recently. I wonder what's in the store for us a 10 years in the future? Photon or quantum computing? That's going to be a MAJOR upgrade all the way from power consumption to performance. We'll look upon the CPUs of today as we look upon the tools they used in the stone age. :)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quantum memory

    Hypothesised method of storing a near limitless number of bits in a superconducting Josephon junction.

    You fabricate this using conventional techniques and keep it very cold (ie. a hair above absolute zero) and well shielded, not only is it a quantum computer but a memory as well.

    Signal resolution depends on the number of bits stored per cell, and due to interactions between them any bit can be read from anywhere in the array.

    (paten pending)

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