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Samsung confirms mass production of new 3D V-NAND flash chips with view to next-gen Galaxy smartphones

Samsung has begun volume production of 3D Vertical NAND (V-NAND) flash memory, offering significant durability and write performance improvements over current NAND flash memory chips based on planar structures using floating gates.

The South Korean tech giant's new 3D V-NAND products are being produced in 128GB densities per chip for a "wide range of consumer electronics and enterprise applications, including embedded NAND storage and solid state drives (SSDs)," the company said.

Samsung's new flash technology offers two to 10 times the reliability of current-generation, 10-nanometer class floating gate NAND flash memory and double the write performance of the most advanced flash memory currently on the market, the company said.

"The new 3D V-NAND flash technology is the result of our employees' years of efforts to push beyond conventional ways of thinking and pursue much more innovative approaches in overcoming limitations in the design of memory semiconductor technology," Jeong-Hyuk Choi, senior vice president of flash product and technology at Samsung, said in a statement.

"Following the world's first mass production of 3D Vertical NAND, we will continue to introduce 3D V-NAND products with improved performance and higher density, which will contribute to further growth of the global memory industry."

The new technology utilises a "proprietary vertical cell structure based on 3D Charge Trap Flash (CTF) technology and vertical interconnect process technology to link the 3D cell array," Choi added.

Last month, Samsung's fabs began cranking out eMMC 5.0 memory modules —billed as the "world's fastest embedded memory" — for next-generation smartphones and tablets. Volume production started in late July for 11.5 x 13mm eMMC 5.0 devices in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB densities, Samsung said, adding that the small package size makes the modules "ideal for mobile devices where space on the printed circuit board is extremely limited."

Meanwhile, earlier this week a new startup called Crossbar came out of stealth mode with what it claimed was a breakthrough in memory technology of its own. The California company said its alternative to current NAND Flash memory chips, which Crossbar calls "Resistive RAM" or RRAM, could serve up a terabyte of storage and playback capacity on "an IC smaller than a postage stamp."