December 6, 2007 – Hynix Semiconductor expects to start mass production of 48nm-based NAND flash in 1Q08, which would give it a brief headstart on rivals Samsung and Toshiba, according to local media reports.
Samples of 16Gb multilevel cell (MLC) chips utilizing 48nm process technologies are expected to ship to customers this month, and production will ramp to 15,000-20,000 units/month next quarter, note the Korea Times and Chosun Ilbo. Samsung and Toshiba are using 51nm and 53nm processes respectively, and are expected to move to sub-50nm sometime in 2H08, they note.
Hynix’s 48nm chips are about 10% more cost-efficient than Samsung’s 51nm chips, 60% better than the company’s own 57nm versions, and offer 90% productivity improvement over existing 60nm chips, according to the papers.
They point out, however, that any lead achieved early in 2008 will be short-lived. Samsung is expected to start making its new 42nm chips in 2H08, and has already developed a 64Gb chip based on 30nm processes.