There are two breaking announcements coming out of the
SanDisk camp today. The company announced that it will begin production of 43nm
multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory and that it has made a breakthrough in
three-bit-per-cell NAND flash memory.
MLC NAND flash production will allow the company to double the density of
its memory chips in comparison to current 56nm 16Gb technology. The move to
43nm production also means lower production costs and offers the promise of more
cost-effective solid-state disk (SSD) solutions in the future.
"We’re excited about commencing the production ramp of
the 43nm generation of MLC NAND flash memory with its significantly lower cost
benefits," said SanDisk Executive VP of technology Dr. Randhir Thakur.
"The 43nm technology generation will become our major focus during 2008 as
we continue to provide leading-edge technology and cost benefits to our
SanDisk's 43nm production process was co-developed with
Toshiba and shipments of 43nm, 16Gb chips will begin in the second quarter of
2008. SanDisk will ship 32Gb chips during the latter half of the year.
SanDisk and Toshiba aren't just working on 43nm process technology,
however. SanDisk also made the revelation that the two companies have made
advances in the development of three-bit-per
cell NAND flash memory.
The use of three-bit-per cell technology, aka x3, allows
SanDisk to cram 20% more die per wafer than traditional 56nm MLC flash which
uses two-bits-per-cell technology.
"We consider x3 as a major commercial breakthrough for
flash memory that will extend Moore’s Law in this and future generations of
NAND flash storage," remarked Dr. Khandker N. Quader, SanDisk's senior
vice president of flash memory design and product development.
SanDisk expects to have commercial samples of its
"x3" NAND flash memory available in the March/April timeframe.