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Flash memory slims down by 40 percent

Nov 9, 2009 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Samsung announced a “major reduction” in the size of flash memory, packing 32GB into a chip just 0.02 inches thick. The newly developed “ultra-thinning” technology will allow a significant increase in storage for smartphones and other mobile devices, the company says.

Samsung says its new ultra-thinning technology "overcomes the conventional technology limits of a chip's resistance to external pressure when under 30um [micrometers] in height." As a result, the company adds, it can now create 32Gb NAND flash chips that each measure just 15um.

Eight of these chips, each produced using a 30nm process, can be stacked into a multi-die package that measures just 0.6mm (0.02 inches) in height, yet offers an overall 32GB of storage. The new technology will deliver memory that is 40 percent thinner and lighter, the company says.

Tae-Gyeong Chung, vice president of the test and package center in Samsung's package development team, stated, "We have achieved a major reduction in the thickness and weight of a large multi-die package to provide the best solution for combining higher density with multi-functionality in current mobile designs. A package height under 1mm will provide handset designers with much greater freedom in creating attractive designs that satisfy the diverse styles and thin-focused tastes of consumers today."

Samsung cites iSuppli as saying that 310 million memory cards with 2GB of storage or higher are expected to be produced in 2009, a number projected to grow to 7.7 billion units by 2012. Meanwhile, the market research firm is said to have added, 35 million units with 16GB of storage or higher will be produced this year, a number expected to reach 530 million units by 2012.

Samsung, which is the world's second-largest handset manufacturer, according to a recent Gartner report, is well-poised to be its own best customer for the new memory chips. However, Samsung's flash memory is also used by a wide variety of other phone manufacturers, reportedly including Apple in its popular iPhone. At the end of last month, Samsung announced third-quarter earnings that had more than tripled from the same period a year ago, due to higher phone sales and gains in its chip business, according to a variety of reports.


Samsung did not say when its new 15um flash chips will go on sale. Information on the company's third-quarter earnings, meanwhile, may be found on the InformationWeek website, here, or the Financial Times website, here.

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