Toshiba, Samsung Argue Over The Future of 3D Flash
Both Toshiba and Samsung are working on manufacturing technologies that would allow NAND cells to be stacked on top of each other rather than aligning them horizontally; Toshiba hopes to have cost-effective products on the market by 2013. Samsung hasn't given a projected date for its own design completion, but the companies are backing two distinctly different 3D manufacturing techniques. Toshiba has demonstrated a prototype 32Gb drive that's built in three dimensions, a fact that hopefully indicates that high-capacity SSDs could be on the market in a reasonable amount of time.
The potential benefits of 3D NAND cells far outweigh concerns over which company's solution will prove most effective. At vLSI this year, Toshiba demonstrated the aforementioned 32Gb 3D NAND module built on an older 60nm process. The fact that the cell was built three-dimensionally allowed Toshiba to stack two bits of data per cell, with a total cell area approximately equivalent to a hypothetical Flash cell built on a 20nm process. 3D stacking could also be used to push the reliability and performance of SLC (single layer cell) drives into MLC territory.
pays off, it could mark the beginning of an assault on the one feature HDD's are expected to retain in the near future—capacity.