Intel announced today that it has begun shipping its 25nm NAND flash memory to manufacturers. The new chips were sampled earlier this year and will supplant Intel's less efficient 34nm parts, which can be found in products such as the second-generation X25-M solid-state drives. Intel's 25nm chips can hold up to 8GB of data or about 7,000 photos, 2,000 songs, or eight hours of video.

An 8GB 25nm NAND flash chips measure just 167mm², making it possible to squeeze even more memory into components all across the board - from USB drives and SD cards to smartphones and SSDs. For instance, a 256GB SSD can now be produced with only 32 of Intel's 25nm chips, compared to 64 previously. We'd expect that to lower prices a bit, but Intel hasn't released any figures.

With mass production underway, electronics with the new memory should hit store shelves before the year is up, if not shortly thereafter.