Toshiba's Sub-25nm Memory Production To Enable Larger Flash Cards, Drives

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News Posted: Sun, Apr 4 2010 2:41 PM
Toshiba is currently the world's second largest flash memory producerbehind Samsung, but it's pretty clear that they're looking to take thattop spot over the next few years. Based on a report out of Japan,Toshiba will be moving towards and even smaller process technology inthe coming years, but the investment will start this year.

During 2010, the company will sink 10-billion Yen (around $160m USD), into a "atest production line for advanced flash memory chips." Toshibacurrently products 32nm and 43nm memory chips, but the plan is to beginproduction on "sub-25nm" chips that could obviously hold a lot morememory onto designs that are the same size as what we use today. Intheory, a sub-25nm memory chip would be able to shove more memory ontoan SDHC card than what we can today, simply because of the densityincrease.

According to those reports, Toshiba could output NAND chips with "
circuitry widths in the upper 20 nanometre range soon, while production of chips with circuitry widths in the lower 20 nanometres is slated to start as early as 2012." A spokesperson for the company also said that Toshiba plans to begin "commercial production of NAND flash memory chips with circuitry widths somewhere between 20 and 29 nanometres in the second half of 2010, but it has not been decided whether the circuitry will be wider or narrower than 25 nanometres."

Gettingthe density down is key to expanding on memory; if you want largerSSDs, SDHC cards and DIMM sticks, you want these nanometers to shrink.This also allows more storage to be planted into smaller devices(smartphones, for example), where space comes at a premium.Furthermore, it drives down prices of existing sizes, which is music toany consumer ear.
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So how much more memory are we talking about here? This would be interesting to see what comes out of this. We can have a mass storage on our phones :) add a usb to it and you have a everything you need on the go.(A phone, web browser, etc... and file storage :).

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I look for Global Foundries to be a player in this market as they are moving to SOI and half nodes quickly.

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Still not a bug fan of Toshiba!

Their reliability went out the door long before Toyota's did :P

The only reason I would have a product of their is if it were integrated into cheap flash units, or other tech. If the PS3 relied on their chips then I wouldn't have a choice, or that new cell phone. To bad they cant spend more money on improving quality before they try and move on to the next tech.

To me they are like the Nascar team that has been racing every year since the 80's and still haven't won. Yet they still get funding and money to test and compete?

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Everything they are talking about is flash. Currently, Micron and Intel are producing 25nm flash through their joint venture, with Samsung spinning it up as well. This means that though Toshiba might want to take over the flash market they are going to be number 4 to impliment the newest size.

I do not see them dominating the market any time soon.

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Strange that the article does not mention IMFT, which is sampling 25nm NAND flash already, and the plan is to have SSDs using the IMFT 25nm NAND flash in late 2010.

@inspector: The current generation of flash from IMFT is 34nm. The amount of memory per chip scales as the square of the dimension. So, (34/25)^2 results in about 85% more memory per chip. The article says Toshiba's current gen is 32nm, and next gen is "sub-25nm". So (32/24)^2 would give about 78% more memory per chip.

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