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Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Sandisk Develops World's Smallest 128Gb Nand Memory Chip

SanDisk claims that it has developed the world's smallest 128 gigabit (Gb) NAND flash memory chip currently in production. The semiconductor device can store 128 billion individual bits of information on a single silicon die 170mm2 in size - a little more than a quarter of an inch squared.

Shrinking the size of NAND flash memory allows smaller, more powerful computing, communications and consumer electronics devices to be built while keeping costs low.

SanDisk built the 128Gb NAND flash memory chip on the company's 19 nanometer (nm) process technology. The chip employs SanDisk's three-bit per cell (X3) technology that allows the company to build NAND flash memory products with the ability to read and write three bits of information in each memory cell.

At 19nm, SanDisk is deploying its ninth generation of multi-level cell (MLC) NAND products and fifth generation of X3 technology.

"Building a 128Gb NAND flash memory chip with this level of complexity is an incredible achievement," said Mehrdad Mofidi, vice president, Memory Design. "This innovation allows SanDisk to continue to be a leader in helping our customers deliver smaller, more powerful products capable of doing more at lower cost."

In addition to reduced size, the 128Gb semiconductor device has a X3 write performance of 18 megabytes (MB) per second. This level of performance is achieved using SanDisk's patented advanced all bit line (ABL) architecture and means that X3 technology could be extended to certain product categories that use MLC NAND flash memory. A technical paper outlining the breakthrough will be presented at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco today.

The 128Gb NAND flash memory chip was developed jointly by teams from SanDisk and Toshiba at SanDisk's Milpitas campus.

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