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Samsung ships first 50nm 16Gb NAND flash memory

50nm chip technology could be the beginning of the end for traditional hard disk drives.

Samsung Electronics is shipping samples of its latest 16 Gigabit NAND flash memory to customers using 50nm lithographic technology.

The company has been shipping 4Gb and 8Gb flash NAND memory since August 2005, the latest announcement brings forward plans to ship 16Gb components to this quarter. The move heralds 64GB flash disks that could replace normal disk drives and run space hogging operating systems such as Windows Vista.

The first samples of the new memory components feature a multi-level cell (MLC) design with a 4KB page size (up from 2KB) that the company claims improves the read and write performance of the flash memory.

Samsung plans to start full production of its 16Gb NAND memory in the first quarter of this year.

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