Colorado-based memory module manufacturer Mushkin today recognizes the trend to adopt smaller, more efficient memory modules for use in the increasingly mainstream SSD (solid state drives) market, but has some reservations over using some of the newer, even tinier flash chips.
SSDs are becoming more attractive as replacements for traditional electromechanical hard disk drives, because their lack of moving parts makes them quieter and less susceptible to shocks, while their use of microchips and non-volatile NAND flash memory to store data grants them much lower access times and latencies. In other words, they're seriously fast as storage devices, and are currently ideal as boot drives for computers.
Production processes for the NAND flash memory used in SSDs themselves are constantly evolving, and manufacturers have taken to shrinking the process technology behind flash memory die sizes to further reduce manufacturing costs and remain competitive. Thus far manufacturers have managed to get NAND flash memory die sizes down to 34-nanometers, but they're already looking to ramp up to an even smaller 25-nanometers.
Mushkin cautions in an official announcement today that they're still not entirely sold on adopting 25nm NAND chips in their SSD products. According to the manufacturer:
"While the process reduction to 25nm reduces cost both for manufacturers and consumers, there are intrinsic drawbacks to the 25nm which give rise to problems that have not yet been solved. Because of the manner in which 25nm NAND chips interact with controllers, capacity is noticeably reduced. In addition, 25nm chips have far fewer available program erase cycles, thereby reducing endurance of SSDs with 25nm NAND."
In short, Mushkin will be sticking to using 34nm flash memory chips for their SSD products until they're convinced the industry can get around any reduced-capacity issues which may potentially affect the newer 25nm chips.