SanDisk 32GB SSD Ultra ATA 5000
SanDisk and Toshiba tout their advances in MLC NAND flash memory

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 2007.

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 notebooks computers.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
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