Samsung starts 3D V-NAND flash memory production

Samsung Electronics has started mass production of the industry’s first three-dimensional (3D) Vertical NAND (V-NAND) flash memory.

The new 3D V-NAND will be used for a range of consumer electronics and enterprise applications, including embedded NAND storage and solid state drives (SSDs).

Samsung’s new V-NAND offers a 128 gigabit (Gb) density in a single chip, utilizing the company’s vertical cell structure based on 3D Charge Trap Flash (CTF) technology and vertical interconnect process technology to link the 3D cell array.

Samsung’s 3D V-NAND is able to provide over twice the scaling of 20nm-class planar NAND flash.

IHS iSuppli says the NAND flash memory market is expected to reach approximately $30.8 billion in revenues by the end of 2016, from approximately $23.6 billion in 2013 with a CAGR of 11 percent, in leading growth of the entire memory industry.

“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,” said Jeong-Hyuk Choi, senior vice president, flash product & technology, Samsung.

Samsung’s new V-NAND comes with a revamped CTF architecture, which was first developed in 2006. In Samsung’s CTF-based NAND flash architecture, an electric charge is temporarily placed in a holding chamber of the non-conductive layer of flash.

New 3D V-NAND shows an increase of a minimum of 2X to a maximum 10X higher reliability, and twice the write performance over conventional 10nm-class floating gate NAND flash memory.

Samsung’s vertical interconnect process technology can stack as many as 24 cell layers vertically, using special etching technology that connects the layers electronically by punching holes from the highest layer to the bottom.

With the new vertical structure, Samsung can enable higher density NAND flash memory products by increasing the 3D cell layers without having to continue planar scaling, which has become incredibly difficult to achieve.

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