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Friday, April 02, 2004
Samsung debuts 90-nm NAND

Samsung Electronics plans to double its flash capacity and has begun shipping its first NAND part based on a new 90-nm process technology.

Samsung has begun shipping a 2-gigabit NAND device, built around the 90-nm process. The Seoul-based company is also expanding its overall flash-memory capacity in order to meet huge demand for products, such as camera phones, cell phones, digital cameras, and USB drives.

The Korean company also plans to double its production in terms of bits. High market demand for DRAM and flash-memory products have prompted the company to increase the capacity of its 300-mm fab in Hwaseong, Korea.

Samsung is also ramping up a new and separate 100-nm process for SDRAMs, especially double-date-rate 2 parts. The chips are also being fabricated in the 300-mm fab.

Despite the apparent cut in spending, Samsung is expected to maintain its lead in DRAMs and flash. Last year, in fact, the company surpassed Intel Corp to become the top flash supplier in 2003. Samsung had estimated revenues of $2.2 billion in flash and an overall market share of 19.5 percent, according to iSuppli Corp.

Samsung's competitors are not standing still. Toshiba Corp., a supplier of NAND-based products, is readying its own 90-nm process technology for flash, according to analysts.

Perhaps the biggest threat to Samsung is Intel, which is ramping up its NOR flash lines, also based on a 90-nm process. And, Intel is also attempting to extend NOR into the data storage market, which is dominated by NAND technology.

This week, Samsung also rolled out its next generation embedded flash technology for system-on-a-chip and ASIC designs. Based on advanced 0.13-micron CMOS technology, Samsung's new LF13 process allows higher levels of integration, so flash memories can be embedded on the same die as logic, SRAM, analog and RF. The LF13 process incorporates Samsung's logic process and Silicon Storage Technology Inc.'s split-gate SuperFlash cell.

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