FLASH MEMORY has taken another jump down in size, as Toshiba has announced what it claims is the world's first 15nm NAND flash memory chips.
The new process that will begin mass production in late April is a significant jump from its previous 19nm standard.
Initially the process will be used for 2-bit-per-cell 128Gb NAND flash memory producing 16GB chip capacity as the finished product.
As well as being smaller, the new chips are able to achieve a boosted data transfer rate of 533Mbps and maintain the write speed of their predecessors.
Toshiba is working to apply the process to 3-bit-per-cell chips aimed at smartphones and tablets. in conjunction with development of controllers for embedded parallel NAND.
Once this is achieved, the company plans to extend the application of the product to notebook PC memory chips at a later date using a new controller designed for solid-state disk (SSD) drives.
Production will take place at Toshiba's Fab 5 Yorkkaichi Operations. A second stage of Fab 5 is being constructed that will be 15nm ready, anticipating increasing demand for faster and smaller memory chips in mobile devices.
To put the speed of fab progress in perspective, you only need look at The INQUIRER archive, where we reported in 2003 a breakthrough that saw Toshiba offering 90nm chip, while Samsung announced a 20nm fab node just eight months ago.
As this story goes to press, news has reached The INQUIRER that Sandisk has also announced a 15nm NAND flash memory product. µ