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New memory recycles last-gen process, but still offers 30 percent performance gains

Embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) -- tiny chips soldered to smartphone and tablet motherboards via ball-grid arrays -- are a staple of the mobile industry.  Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930offered up some exciting news today, revealing that it had started production of 10 nm-class (10-19 nm) NAND for eMMC, taking mobile storage to new levels of "tiny".

The new 64 GB NAND Flash storage chips, which are built on the eMMC 4.5 standard, which Samsung basically wrote itself, offer random writes of 2,000 IOPS (input-output operations per second), random reads of 5,000 IOPS, sequential reads at 260 MB/s, and sequential write speeds of 50 MB/s.

Those stats are about 30 percent up from the first-generation eMMC 4.5 devices (mature 20 nm product), which Samsung delivered five months ago.

More good news for Samsung is that it was able to repurpose its 20 nm lines to produce the 10 nm-class chips.  It says the process compatibility is expected to increase its manufacturing yields around 30 percent.

Samsung NAND flash
Samsung is now producing NAND on the 10-19 nm node. [Image Source: Samsung]

Samsung also shaved over 20 percent off the volume off the traditional 12 mm by 16 mm flash BGA package, squeezing the chips into a 11.5 mm by 13 mm form factor.  The chipmaker, having deeply invested in development of eMMC 4.5 is looking to submit it to JEDEC (the Joint Electron Engineering Council), next year, requesting that it be made an industry standard.

Recently, there has been controversy regarding Apple, Inc. (AAPL) being forced to pay more for Samsung's chips, in the wake of its decision to continue to attack the better selling smartphone maker in court.  The new 10 nm-class Flash chips are likely enough to leave Apple -- purveyor of all things thin -- salivating, but they may be another opportunity for Samsung to extract a piece of fiscal revenge on its dependent rival. 

Source: Samsung [press release]



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RE: Don't feed the hype
By MozeeToby on 11/16/2012 9:09:19 AM , Rating: 2
Less than 11 nm is probably not even theoretically possible. And yes, I know that people have said that about many things over the years when it comes to process shrinks, so hear me out.

Quantum tunneling is the phenomenon where a particle (usually an electron) can disappear from one place and appear in another without crossing the intervening distance. The effect is completely random, you can't control it or shield against it. At around 11nm you reach the point where electrons jump across your gap at a rate that is indistinguishable to having no gap at all.


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