Intel announced today that it is shipping to equipment manufacturers its 25-nanometer (nm) NAND flash memory chip, which doubles the capacity of its previous 34nm chip. Intel announced its new chip, which can hold 8GB of data, last February. Manufacturers of solid state drives (SSD), USB sticks and removable and embedded memory cards put multiple NAND flash chips on a board along with multiple I/O paths to create mass storage devices.

The new chip, manufactured by Intel's and Micron Technology's joint venture company, IMFT, measures 0.35-in. by 0.74-in., but it can hold 7,000 photos, eight hours of video or 2,000 songs.

The 25nm NAND flash chip is made up of many small 64Gbit NAND chips. IMFT's latest lithography technology makes it possible to build products using half as many chips as is possible with the current 34nm lithography technology, allowing for smaller, higher-density designs. For example, a 256GB SSD can be built with 32 of the 8GB NAND flash dies instead of 64 dies, a 32GB smartphone needs just four dies and a 16GB flash card requires only two.

The change also cuts the overall cost to produce mobile products.