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Samsung shrinks flash chips

Apr 20, 2010 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Samsung announced what it claims is the industry's first production of “20 nm-class” NAND flash chips for use in SD cards and other storage devices. The 32 gigabit MLC (multi-level cell) chips will form the basis of SD cards to be offered in sizes ranging from 4GB to 64GB later this year, the company says.

According to Samsung, it first began producing 32Gb NAND chips using a 30nm-class process a year ago, but is now able to create them using what it refers to as a 20 nm-class process. The new chips have a "50 percent higher productivity level" than their predecessors, and are 30 percent faster, the company claims.

It's said the new NAND chips deliver read speeds of 20MB/sec. and write speeds of 10MB/sec. Thanks to "cutting-edge process, design and controller technology," their reliability levels are comparable to those of 30nm-class NAND, Samsung adds.


Samsung's "20nm-class" NAND chips will be incorporated into SD cards from 4GB to 64GB
(Click to enlarge)

Soo-In Cho, president of Samsung Electronics' memory division, stated, "In just one year after initiating 30nm-class NAND production, Samsung has made available the next generation node 20nm-class NAND, which exceeds most customers requirements for high-performance, high-density NAND-based solutions. The new 20nm-class NAND is not only a significant step forward in process design, but we have incorporated advanced technologies into it to enable substantial performance innovation."

Whether the newly announced Samsung chips are really a first depends on your definition of words such as "production" and phrases such as "20 nm-class," however. In February, Intel and Micron announced they had begun sampling 25nm NAND devices, involving lithography 1/3000th the size of a human hair, and said they would enter mass production during the second quarter.

According to an EETimes item by writer Mark LaPedus, analysts believe that what Samsung has rolled out is actually a 27nm part. Alan Niebel, CEO of Web-Feet Research, is quoted as calling Samsung's "20 nm-class" claim "deceptively generalized." Samsung is actually behind Hynix (26nm), Intel/Micron (25nm), and SanDisk/Toshiba (24nm), Niebel is said to have added.

For further information, see the EETimes item, here.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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