Lucas123 writes: The non-volatile memory used in thumb drives, SSDs, smartphones and any other mobile device today has at last hit an engineering wall. The major developers of planar NAND this week said now that they've reached 15 or 16 nanometer process technology, they no longer expect to shrink their lithography process any further, as the capacity and economic benefits no longer make sense. Toshiba, which produced the first NAND flash chip in 1989, SanDisk, Intel and Micron said they will turn their engineering efforts to 3D flash trap NAND, 3D resistive RAM and other vertically-stacked non-volatile memories that offer a much longer road map. The manufacturers all said they'll continue to produce planar NAND while developing 3D NAND, which has already doubled previous capacities while also offering two to 10 times the erase-writes of previous non-volatile memories and twice the write performance. Intel and Micron are also producing a 3D NAND, based on floating gate, and a ReRAM that the companies say will increase performance and endurance 1,000 time over planar NAND. Toshiba and SanDisk have come out with a 48-layer 3D NAND that could allow them to produce 400GB microSD cards next year.
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