Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has begun mass production of its 16-Gbit NAND flash devices, the highest-capacity memory chip available, according to the company. The chip is fabricated in a 51-nm process, which allows it to be produced 60% more efficiently than devices using a 60-nm process technology. It uses a multilevel cell (MLC) structure. The finer process technology boosts the chip's read and write speeds by about 80% over previous MLC data processing speeds. Read speed for the new chip is 30 Mbytes/s compared to 17 Mbytes/s for 60-nm technology. Write speed is 8 Mbytes/s, compared to 4.4 Mbytes/s.
NAND flash memory reads and writes data in units called pages. The 60-nm NAND flash memory is designed with a 2-kbyte page size, but the 51-nm 16-Gbit version can process data in 4-kbyte pages, nearly doubling the data rate. The product also maintains the same 4-bit error-correcting code (ECC) capability as that of 60-nm NAND, allowing customers to use existing system interfaces with only minor firmware upgrades. The 4-bit ECC eliminates the need to secure a better ECC capability to ensure sufficient reliability, which would have required costly new controllers.
Samsung will offer an optimized suite of flash software and firmware-incorporated storage devices for music phones and MP3 players to support 4-kbyte pages. The company also will provide a multiplane performance optimization feature and wear-leveling for improved reliability.
PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
Memory cards and MP3 controllers to support the 4-kbyte page are available. Contact the company for price information.
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