Jeon Jun-young, right, vice president of Samsung Electronics, shows the world’s first 64-gigabit NAND flash chip using finer 30-nanometer process technology at the Samsung headquarters in Seoul, Tuesday.
By Kim Yoo-chul
Samsung Electronics has developed the world’s first 64-gigabit NAND flash chip using fine 30-nanometer process technology. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter.
With the development, Samsung has proven the so-called ``Hwang's Law’’ for the eighth straight year. The term was initially proposed by Samsung Electronics semiconductor division President Hwang Chang-gyu in 2002 who claimed that memory density will double every year.
A maximum of 16 64-gigabit flash devices could be combined to produce a 128-gigabite memory card, helping to make the card capable of storing 80 DVD movies or 32,000 MP3 music files and even DNA information of 40 individuals, Samsung said Tuesday.
``The new device will prompt competitors to race toward higher-capacity and more profitable chips. We are confident of leading the higher-density chip industry,’’ Samsung Electronics Senior Vice President Rhee In-yong told The Korea Times.
Samsung expects the 64-gigabit flash memory and higher-density device to generate up to $20 billion in sales from 2009 to 2011.
According to iSuppli, a market research firm, demand for NAND flash chips used for personal computers will soar an average of 450 percent annually from 2007 through 2011, while that for mobile phone chips will rise 130 percent on average during the same period.
Flash memory chips are used extensively in digital music devices, digital cameras and mobile phones. The chips can retain data even when the devices they power are turned off.
``We will begin mass producing the chip in the second half of 2009,’’ Rhee said.
Samsung said the latest chip was developed by applying a new manufacturing technology dubbed ``self-aligned double patterning technology (SaDPT).’’
``Without additional investment, the technology enables us to make even 20-nanometer circuitry. That’s very inspiring,’’ a Samsung official said. Samsung has already applied for 30 patents in the U.S., Japan and South Korea for the 64-gigabit flash technology and connected products.
Samsung also manufactures dynamic random access memory, or DRAM, chips used in personal computers.
Last year, the company produced a 32-gigabit NAND flash memory chip based on 40-nanometer process technology.
Samsung’s latest achievement is expected to spark renewed competition amid a supply glut in the DRAM chip industry.