New Delhi: Mobile technology has entered a new age with South Korean technology giant Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd starting mass production of 16Gb NAND flash memory chips, claimed to be the highest capacity memory chip in the world. The chips are also used in media playing devices.
Companies have been trying out the 16Gb for some time now, trying to produce at commercially viable rates. IM Flash, the joint venture between Micron and Intel set up to make NAND flash, says it is sampling a 16Gbit multi-level cell (MLC) chip.
This puts it on a par with the leading density NAND flash chips, which currently command about $16 apiece in the spot market.
SanDisk Corporation and Qimonda AG have also announced plans to manufacture new multichip (MCP) technology for mobile handsets. The new MCP technology will include SanDisk’s NAND flash memory and controllers with Qimonda’s mobile DRAM technology.
Meanwhile Samsung estimates that the aggregate global sales of its 16 gigabit (Gb) NAND flash will touch reach $21 billion by 2010.
NAND Flash architecture is one of two flash technologies (the other being NOR) used in memory cards like CompactFlash cards. It is also used in USB Flash drives, MP3 players, and provides the image storage for digital cameras. NAND is best suited to flash devices requiring high capacity data storage. NAND flash devices offer storage space up to 512-MB and offers faster erase, write, and read capabilities over NOR architecture.
The company would fabricate the devices in 51 nanometers (nm), the finest process technology to be used in memory mass production to date, a Samsung release on its website said on 29 April.
“In rolling out the densest NAND flash, we are throwing open the gates to a much wider playing field for flash-driven consumer electronics,” said Jim Elliott, director, flash marketing, Samsung Semiconductor.
Samsung’s 51nm NAND flash chips can be produced 60% more efficiently than those produced with 60nm process technology, the release added.
Enlightening on the technical features, the company said: “The new 16Gb chip, which has a multi-level cell (MLC) structure, can facilitate capacity expansion by offering 16 gigabytes (GBs) of memory in a single memory card.”
Technology migration to 16Gb is expected to boost the recent explosive demand for high-density data storage in high-end music phones and the phenomenal trend toward user created content (UCC), the release said.