The flash memory device represents a major leap forward in the move to higher density flash storage solutions at a time of exploding demand for flash as the main storage medium in computing and digital applications.
A maximum sixteen 64 Gb flash devices can be combined to make a 128 Gigabyte (GB) memory card that can store 80 DVD-resolution movies or 32,000 MP3 music files.
The 30nm-class 64 Gb NAND flash marks the eighth consecutive year that the density of memory has doubled and the seventh straight year that the nanometer scale has improved for NAND flash since the 100nm 1Gb NAND was developed in 2001. The new flash device was successfully developed through the use of a new manufacturing process called selfaligned double patterning technology (SaDPT). In SaDPT, the 1st pattern transfer is a wider-spaced circuit design of the target process technology, while the 2nd pattern transfer fills in the spaced area with a more closely designed pattern. SaDPT represents a pivotal advancement beyond the charge trap flash (CTF) technology-based NAND flash that Samsung developed last year when it introduced a new material (silicon nitride) and a new structural configuration for flash memory. SaDPT resolves a critical bottleneck to forming sub-30nm circuitry by expanding the role that conventional lithography technology plays in the manufacturing process. Both Samsung's CTF-based NAND flash technology and SaDPT are expected to provide improvements in cost efficiency for next-generation nanometer-scale designs.
Samsung's SaDPT will employ existing photolithography equipment in 30nm production, which is expected to be commercialized in 2009. By using conventional photolithography equipment, Samsung can not only significantly speed up the process but also improve the cost efficiency of its manufacturing operations without additional facility investment. Samsung has applied for 30 patents in connection with the new 64 Gb flash device. Samsung also has developed a 32 Gb single level cell (SLC) NAND flash memory based on the same technology applied to its 64 Gb device. Samsung's continued success in introducing higher density NAND flash will intensify demand for solid state drives in notebooks and other NAND-based storage devices for applications such as digital camcorders and enterprise servers.
Samsung expects to begin production of 30nm-class 64 Gb flash devices in 2009. According to Gartner Dataquest, the accumulated sales for 64Gb NAND flash and higher density devices could reach up to US$20 billion in just three years (2009~2011).
By succeeding in 30nano 64Gb NAND flash development, Samsung Electronics coined a new term -- Hwang's Rule, a Memory New Growth Argument -- meaning that the density of memory has doubled. Starting with the 256 Mb NAND flash development in 1999, Samsung Electronics has been realizing, every year, double memory density for the last eight years. Hwang Chang-gyu, President of Semiconductor Business for Samsung Electronics, said: "The development of the 30nano 64 Gb NAND flash is the outcome of efforts to continue growth." He added that Samsung Electronics will concentrate its efforts on the NAND flash new market pioneering based on new technology and new products.
Other Samsung officials explained: "It is possible for 30nano process technology developed this time to apply not only to NAND flash, but also to DRAM as well as other memory."