Samsung and Toshiba today announced that they have licensed to one another the rights to produce, market and sell memory with the specifications and trademarks of Samsung's OneNAND and Toshiba' LBA-NAND memory chips.
As a result of the reciprocal arrangement, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will have a broader choice of suppliers for each premium memory chip, thereby reducing any potential risk of over-dependence on a single supplier for any of the selected chips. The arrangement is expected to result in increased availability of premium-performance OneNAND and LBA-NAND flash devices worldwide.
Under terms of the agreement, Samsung will license product specifications of its integrated OneNAND and Flex-OneNAND "fusion" memory chips to Toshiba, while Toshiba will license product specifications of its single-package LBA-NAND and mobileLBA-NAND flash chips to Samsung. Both companies will develop and market products that are compatible with the respective original-source technology. Samsung and Toshiba each plan to release products next year based on the respectively licensed product specifications.
Masaki Momodomi, Flash Memory Technology Executive of Toshiba Corporation's Semiconductor Company, said, "Signing this agreement will provide a major boost for market development and we believe it will trigger substantial new growth. It will allow our customers more options - both in terms of high performance technologies and suppliers. We believe that this agreement will bring positive results to the industry as a whole."
Yun-Ho Choi, senior vice president of the Flash Team at Samsung Electronics' Semiconductor Business, said, "The advanced performance specs and easy design-in features of the NAND flash memories to which the agreement applies can greatly improve design options for CE application designers, while reducing development costs. Samsung will place additional priority on meeting the anticipated growth in demand for high-performance NAND flash in mobile and other consumer applications through the provisioning of more diverse NAND solutions and peripheral interfaces."
Samsung's OneNAND and Flex OneNAND are fusion memories that integrate a NAND core, SRAM, error correcting engines, and logic circuits in a single chip with a NOR interface. Flex-OneNAND's capability of partitioning SLC and MLC allows it to provide a flexible and cost-effective flash storage solution for consumer electronics and other applications.
Toshiba's LBA-NAND and mobileLBA-NAND are non-volatile memories that integrate a controller and NAND flash memory in a single package. Pin assignment and the command sequence are compatible with conventional NAND flash memories, but logical address access methods are utilized. LBA-NAND are designed for use in mobile consumer products, such as digital audio players and personal media players, and mobileLBA-NAND are for mobile phones.