We barely have SSDs with 25nm NAND Flash on the market and already IMFT (Intel Micron Flash Technologies) has announced that it has new NAND circuits coming at the 20nm node. These circuits are not mature for retail though, and it can take some time before we actually get to see them.
The new 8GB chips is 118mm², which is ~42% smaller than the 8GB chip at 25nm at 167mm², and the whole purpose of once again shrinking the node is to reduce costs, which is highly welcomed among the people looking to buy a SSD unit to remedy the sluggishness of a mechanical drive, as it is one of the greatest bottlenecks of a modern computer.
IMFT 8GB 20nm NAND Flash
The new circuit from IMFT is not expected to drive down costs as much as when the company moved from e.g. 50nm to 34nm when prices of SSDs dropped by 50%, but we should see a substantial drop though. With the increase in manufacturing costs and a world leading manufacturing process we can still expect price cuts up to 20-30% according to Anandtech.
Comparison between 8GB NAND MLC Flash by IMFT, 34nm, 25nm and 20nm
Lifespan has become a hotter and hotter topic lately since it has turned out that memory cells simply break too soon sometimes. IMFT’s 50nm NAND could do 10,000 writes per cell, a number that dropped to 5,000 and then 3,000 with 34nm and then 25nm. According to IMFT, 20nm will remain in the same area of writes, but much comes down to the controller and the much improved ECC/NAND functions.