April 4, 2006 – Intel Corp. said it is sampling NOR multilevel cell (MLC) flash memory chips at 1Gbit density using its 65nm process technology, which has been in production with Intel microprocessors since late 2005. Samples of the 65nm 1Gbit NOR flash will be available to customers by June, with production samples ready by 4Q06.
In a conference call discussing the transition, Allen Holmes, director of marketing for Intel’s NOR flash group, said that Intel feels confident that it’s at least six months ahead in 65nm NOR flash development, compared with competitors such as Spansion, STMicroelectronics, and Samsung. He predicted an “aggressive” ramp in 2007 for the technology, while acknowledging that there would be typical challenges associated with initial yields as with starting any new process technology.
Holmes noted that both 65nm and 90nm NOR flash will continue to ramp through 2006, giving the company three process technologies in high-volume production in 1H07 — Intel will continue to produce 130nm NOR flash, a “big part of our embedded strategy,” he said. Holmes added that Intel also is “definitely in the planning process for 45nm,” but he would not provide any details or progress updates.