Samsung claims it has developed a 16-Gbit NAND Flash memory chip. Built in a 50 nm process, the new chip sets a new record in the storage density race and could be incorporated in incorporated into memory cards with up to 32 GByte capacity.
The South Korean giant has focused its efforts on dominating the global Flash market. Currently the
company has a deal with Apple to supply Flash memory for the new Apple nano, and also has obtained a
50 percent share in worldwide NAND Flash sales. Currently, Samsung said it has developed the first 16
Gbit Flash memory chips which could enable Flash memory cards with capacities of 32 MByte, when
combined up to 16 such chips configured on a single card. A 32GB density translates into the ability
to store either 200 years of an average daily newspaper, 8000 MP3 music files (680 hours) or 20 DVD
resolution movies (32 hours of high resolution video footage) on a mobile device.
The 16Gb NAND density was achieved by using a 50-nanometer (nm) technology directly applicable to
mass production processes and by using Samsung's proprietary 3D-transistor architecture. The finer
geometry substantially reduces the noise level between cells to enable continued migration of storage
The cell size of Samsung's new fingernail-sized flash has been reduced 25% from that of the 8Gb NAND
memory developed last year using 60-nanometer technology. The new flash memory boasts the industry's
smallest cell size -- 0.00625 square microns per bit. The 16Gb device holds 16.4 billion functional
transistors, each measuring one two-thousandths the thickness of a piece of human hair.
Samsung believes that the new 16Gb memory device should accelerate further expansion of the NAND
flash market across mobile and portable digital applications as an alternative to mini-HDDs (hard
disk drives) and even HDDs for laptops.
The company plans to begin mass producing its 16Gb NAND flash in the second half of 2006.