SandForce Demos 19nm Toshiba & 20nm IMFT NAND Flashby Anand Lal Shimpi on June 8, 2012 4:08 AM EST
SandForce's controllers have fairly broad compatibility with NAND available on the market today. It shouldn't be a surprise that the first demo we saw of Toshiba's 19nm and Intel/Micron's 20nm NAND was at the SandForce/LSI suite in the Grand Hyatt in Taipei.
Even though 19nm/20nm 64Gbit devices aren't very different from their predecessors, they still require custom firmware support for many reasons including dealing with different program times. Intel and Micron have told us that they expect similar endurance from their 20nm NAND as we currently see with their 25nm offerings.
The demo we saw was a simple Iometer test on both platforms. SandForce built SF-2000 drives using NAND from Intel, Micron and Toshiba. The Intel part number hasn't changed much from the 25nm generation. The table below highlights the differences:
|Intel MLC NAND Part Number Comparison|
|25nm 64Gbit||20nm 64Gbit|
The last F actually indicates that we're looking at a 20nm part, while the 3 actually refers to generation which seems to have been incremented along with the process node identifier. We should see the first 19nm/20nm based SSDs this year, but keep in mind these aren't dramatically different architecturally from the 24/25nm parts on the market today.
When we get to 128Gbit 20nm die from IMFT next year we will see some major changes including a faster interface (ONFi 3.x) and larger page sizes (16KB).