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Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Samsung Announces High-endurance 128Gb V-NAND Flash Memory For Enerprise SSDs

Samsung Electronics announced the development of a "Vertical NAND (V-NAND)" 3D NAND flash memory that endures 35,000 write/erase cycles as an enterprise SSD.

Speaking earlier this month at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) 2014, Samsung's researchers described the new V-NAND memory, which is an MLC (multi-level cell) product using 24 memory cell layers and has a capacity of 128 Gbits per chip. The chip are is 133mm2 and its bit density is 0.96 Gbits/mm2, which Samsung claims is the highest in the industry.

However, the manufacturing cost of the V-NAND remains higher than the latest planar NAND, requiring new capital investments. Samsung says that the next generations of V-NAND will feature with more memory cell layers, making its cost comparable to planar NAND in cost. The company plans to release 1-Tbit V-NAND sometime in 2017.

The company targets the latest technology at high-performance applications such as enterprise SSDs. Whan applied to an enterprise SSD, the new V-NAND realizes a write/erase endurance of 35,000 cycles with a write throughput of 36 Mbytes per second, according to Samsung. For embedded applications, it will realize a write/erase endurance of 3,000 cycles with a write throughput of 50 Mbytes per second.

At ISSCC 2014, Micron Technology also announced a 16nm 128Gbit NAND flash memory based on the planar NAND technology. This chip was larger (173.3mm2) that Samsung's V-NAND memory.

The battle between 2D NAND and 3D NAND has just begun. The current manufacturing cost of the V-NAND is higher than that of the latest planar NAND. On the other hand, it is not clear how further the miniaturization of planar NAND can go, as microfabrication lead to an increased in bit-error ratio and strong error correction technologies would be required.

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