Samsung Starts Mass-Producing Faster 3D NAND Flash

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2013-08-06

Seven years of Samsung development came to fruition Aug. 5 when the Korean IT giant revealed that it has started mass production of the industry's first 3D vertical NAND (V-NAND) flash memory.

This new across-and-up/down flash memory architecture breaks through current scaling limitations for existing NAND flash IT to achieve new performance and area ratio, Samsung said.

The new flash media will be twice as fast—in terms of writes—and up to 10 times more durable than the current flash storage used in mobile devices, Steve Weinger, director of NAND flash marketing at Samsung Semiconductor, told eWEEK.

V-NAND flash memory employs a 3D structure in which storage modules are stacked vertically, giving a whole new dimension to flash memory. "We were obviously limited greatly in the planar design; this opens up whole new worlds for the flash industry," Weinger said.

The new flash memory, even with its new physical configuration, still fits inside standard 2.5-inch solid-state disks that are used in a range of customer electronics and enterprise applications, including embedded NAND storage and SSDs, Weinger said.

3D-style flash memory is radically different from conventional NAND flash, in which storage modules must be placed side by side. Weinger said Samsung has stacked 24 NAND layers in one test chip configuration; each stack was then connected by a Samsung-designed connector. This connector enables the 3D storage to produce much faster writes, Weinger said.

Weinger said the first flash media off the line will be available with capacities ranging from 128GB to 1TB.

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