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New 20nm class NAND is 30 percent faster than existing 30nm NAND

NAND flash memory seems to be invading nearly every electronic devices that we use today. Everything from cameras to smartphones to notebook computers to digital media players make use of the storage technology.

So it should come as no surprise that companies are always looking to new process technologies to not only lower the cost of production for NAND flash memory, but also to improve performance and storage densities.

Samsung has made an announcement today that should be sweet music to photographers and smartphone users around the globe. The Seoul, Korea-based company has announced the production of 20nm class MLC NAND flash memory for use in Secure Digital (SD) cards and smartphone storage. The new 20nm class NAND will usher in the mainstream use of 32Gb MLC NAND and will result in storage devices ranging from 4GB to 64GB.

"In just one year after initiating 30nm-class NAND production, Samsung has made available the next generation node 20nm-class NAND, which exceeds most customers requirements for high-performance, high-density NAND-based solutions," said Soo-In Cho, president, Memory Division, Samsung Electronics. "The new 20nm-class NAND is not only a significant step forward in process design, but we have incorporated advanced technologies into it to enable substantial performance innovation."

According to Samsung, SD cards based on new 20nm class technology will be 30 percent faster than the company's existing 30nm-class products. In addition, the new 20nm class devices will be capable of 20MB/sec read speeds and 10MB/sec write speeds (Class 10 speed rating).

Samsung hopes to have full production-spec modules running off the assembly line later this year.

Samsung made headlines late last week over concerns that some of its plants have been linked to cases of leukemia in workers.

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RE: Wow....
By DanNeely on 4/19/2010 3:09:44 PM , Rating: 2
For now at least. Flash is ramping process rates faster than CPU's because it's a simpler circuit. Unfortunately the amount of power needed to erase a cell doesn't shrink with the process; as a result flash is going to hit a wall it can't shrink beyond because the smaller wires it produces would melt under the needed current at larger process than what conventional logic chips are expected to be able to shrink to.

RE: Wow....
By Alexstarfire on 4/19/2010 3:40:15 PM , Rating: 3
I'm sure we'll figure out something to do when we get to that point. If there is one thing humans are good at it's ingenuity.

RE: Wow....
By AssBall on 4/19/2010 3:40:26 PM , Rating: 3
This is true, Dan, but when you can fit twice as many in the same form factor, for half the price, erasing cells becomes less important. It seems that it is already to the point where this stuff is cheap enough that it is thought of as disposable. It might as well be write-once memory. I'll try to explain what I mean.

For many people, if they even can; by the time they fill up 32GB of NAND, they are more than willing and ready to just buy a newer, bigger cheaper card (or whatever form-factor). Not all professional photographers and the like would agree, obviously, but they certainly don't use flash memory as casually as the rest of us. You could make an argument with high definition video storage too, but you'd normally have an even cheaper (per GB) 2-4 terabyte mechanical/magnetic drive setup for that.

RE: Wow....
By Calin on 4/20/2010 2:20:33 AM , Rating: 2
Professional photographers (and wanna be) burn thru storage, as they shoot their pictures in native camera format. It's one thing to shoot compressed JPEGs at 1-2 MB an image, and another thing to shoot a 50 MB uncompressed image.

RE: Wow....
By B3an on 4/20/2010 10:01:51 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah i agree, if anything, pro photographers like myself go through Flash memory faster than most people.
I would still like the see larger than 64GB though. A RAW (uncompressed) 21mp image with my camera can take upto 25MB each. And shooting a 1080p movie can eat up 1GB+ for about 10mins footage.

RE: Wow....
By Silver2k7 on 4/21/2010 3:14:22 AM , Rating: 2
2600+ images on a single cf card isnt enough ?
I would hardly ever think of taking so many picutres in a day..
perhaps if doing manual focus macro all day..

But I guess the only reason for wanting larger cf cards would be for shooting video.

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