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Samsung starts production of 16Gb nand flash memory

New flash chips first to use 51nm process technology in mass production of flash memory.

Samsung has started production of 16Gb Nand flash memory chips, which is claimed to be the highest capacity memory chip available. The chips will be used in mobile phones and media playing devices.

The chips go into mass production using 51nm process technology, which Samsung claims is the smallest process technology used in memory mass production to date.

The company said the 51nm Nand flash chips can be produced 60 per cent more efficiently than ones produced using the bigger 60nm technology. Samsung is producing just eight months after announcing production of its 60nm 8Gb NAND flash last August.

"In rolling out the densest Nand flash in the world, we are throwing open the gates to a much wider playing field for flash-driven consumer electronics," said Jim Elliott, director, flash marketing, Samsung Semiconductor.

"To minimise production costs and improve performance, we have applied the finest process technology a 'half generation' ahead of the industry, which is introducing 55nm and higher," he said.

The new 16Gb chip which has a multi-level cell (MLC) structure means that 16GB of memory can be held in a single memory card. The company said that in applying the new process technology, it has accelerated the chip's read and write speeds by approximately 80 per cent over current MLC data processing speeds. According to figures from the company the chips will have a maximum read speed of 30MB/sec and a maximum write speed of 8MB/sec.

The company also unveiled an optimised suite of Flash software and firmware-incorporated storage devices for music phones and MP3 players to support 4KB pages. It also will provide a multi-plane performance optimisation feature and wear-levelling for improved reliability.

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