28-07-2016 | | By Paul Whytock
The latest generation of its BiCS FLASH 3D flash memory has been launched by Toshiba and the company says it is the first 64-layer device in the world to start sample shipments.
The device has a stacked cell structure which is said to create significant density improvements over planar NAND Flash memory. It employs 3-bit-per-cell technology and has a 32 gigabyte capacity. Toshiba has said it will follow this development with a 64-gigabytes device which also 64 layers.
The 64-layer 32 gigabyte device will be manufactured in the new Fab 2 at Yokkaichi Operations which was opened in July this year by Toshiba and Western Digital Technologies. Mass production is scheduled to start in the first half of 2017.
The company believes that expanded use of flash memory in smart phones, SSDs and other applications is driving continued growth of the global flash memory market.
The new Fab 2 facility will support the conversion of the companies’ 2D NAND capacity to 3D flash memory.
Following partial completion of the facility in October 2015, Toshiba and SanDisk (acquired in May 2016 by Western Digital Technologies) worked together to implement manufacturing capabilities for mass production of 3D flash memory.
The Yokkaichi operation will use the facility’s integrated production system which employs big data processing to analyse over 1.6 billion data points daily.
The 64-layer stacking process developed by Toshiba creates a 40% larger capacity chip than the previous 48-layer stacking process. It also reduces the cost per bit and increases memory capacity manufacturing per silicon wafer.