May 1, 2007 – Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. says it has begun mass production of 16Gbit multilevel-cell NAND flash devices on 51nm processes four months after announcing sampling of the devices claiming it is the first to achieve mass production of the memory density.
“We are throwing open the gates to a much wider playing field for flash-driven consumer electronics,” said Jim Elliott, director of flash marketing, Samsung Semiconductor, in a statement.
The company says its 51nm process offers 60% production efficiency vs. its 60nm process technology, with which it launched 8Gbit NAND flash in August 2006.
The new 16Gbit memory offers ~80% faster read/write speeds vs. current MLC data processing speeds (30MB/s read vs. 17MB/s, and 8MB/s write vs. 4.4MB/s). It also doubles the data rate to 4 KB pages, and maintains the same 4-bit error-correcting code capability as the 60nm NAND devices. Samsung added it will offer a suite of Flash software and firmware-incorporated storage devices for products such as music phones and MP3 players to support the 4KB pages (memory cards and MP3 controllers are already available), as well as a multiplane performance optimization feature and “wear-leveling.”
With its 16Gbit NAND flash in mass production, Samsung gains a headstart on competitors. Days ago, Intel Corp. and Micron Technology Inc. said their IM Flash Technologies JV is sampling 16Gb die density, 50nm multilevel cell NAND flash devices. Last fall Micron said it had developed a 16Gbit device built with 2Gbit DDR2 chips using 78nm process technology.