When it comes to NAND flash memory, many companies are
jockeying for position to the hold the upper hand with process technology and
production. For the past few months, Samsung has made a number of announcements
citing its achievement in producing faster and more densely packed chips.
Not to be outdone, Toshiba and SanDisk have announced their collaborative
efforts on high-speed Multi-Level-Cell (MLC) NAND memory.
The MLC NAND chips are built on a 56nm process using 300mm
wafers. The company will first produce 8Gb MLC NAND memory in Q1 and make the
move to 16GB MLC NAND in Q2.
"With commencement of the 56nm technology, SanDisk is
rolling out its fifth generation of MLC NAND flash memory," said SanDisk's
Dr. Randhir Thakur. "The technology and design advances will help enable
SanDisk products to offer approximately twice the improvement in write
performance compared to the 70nm generation."
The new chips will be produced at Fab 3 in Toshiba's
Yokkaichi plant located near Nagoya, Japan. Fab 4, a new 300mm
facility currently in construction, will add additional capacity by the end of
The new MLC NAND chips will no doubt find a home in a number
of SanDisk products including its “Extreme” line of Secure
Digital and CompactFlash cards and the recently introduced solid-state disks for