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Intel and Micron's joint venture IMFT has announced that it has produced a 128Gb die. A package combining eight such dies together would be small enough to fit on a fingertip and boast an unprecedented 128GB capacity. Mass production will start in the first half of next year, and devices using the new dies are likely to start shipping in 2013.

IMFT also announced that it had started mass production of a 64Gb 20nm die. This part was first announced in April of this year. Consumer delivery should start in the middle of next year.

The 128Gb parts will take longer to reach consumers because in addition to having a larger capacity, they also include a new interface and page size. NAND flash dies are organized internally into pages, and pages are organized into blocks. Read and write operations occur a page at a time; erase operations have to be performed a block at a time.

Current flash chips, including the 64Gb parts that IMFT has started mass producing, use a page size of 8,192 bytes. The 128Gb dies increase this to 16,384 bytes. As a result, controllers and drive firmware will have to be modified to accommodate the new page size.
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