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Monday, September 12, 2005
Samsung Enables 32GB Capacity on a Single Flash Card

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 platforms.

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.

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