Feeds

Samsung wins 20nm process flash race

Leaves Toshiba and IMFT in the dust

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Surprise, surprise - Samsung has won a game of flash leapfrog and is producing a 20nm part way ahead of Toshiba and IMFT.

Smaller flash memory processes mean more flash chips can fit on a wafer, lowering their individual cost. It also means that a given device can be loaded up with more flash capacity in the same space, so a smaller process brings both cost and capacity advantages.

Samsung, which has been building 30nm parts, is making 20nm-class - it's not actually saying what the actual nanometre dimensions are - process SD cards, with multi-level cell (MLC) 32Gb chips and sampling them. Capacities include four, eight, 16 and 32GB with a 64GB part coming. Mass production is slated to start by the end of the year and it reckons it'll get half as many chips again from its 20nm process as it does from the current 30nm one.

It should herald a speed increase as well. SD cards using this flash are up to thirty per cent faster at writing data, Samsung says. This means 10MB/sec - hardly lightning speed. Read speed is said to be 20MB/sec. That will be good news for digital camera and video recorders that could use Samsung flash chips.

The three main flash foundry players are IMFT (Intel Micron Flash Technologies), Samsung and Toshiba. Toshiba is beginning a transition from 32nm parts to an undecided but sub-30nm process. Intel and Micron are strengthening the use of their 24nm process, though they seem intent on enhancing profit margins rather than lowering prices. Samsung's move could change that. It's likely that Toshiba will try and make a jump to a process size as near 20nm as practicable, rather than targeting a 29-25nm process.

Interestingly, the owner of the Korean Samsung 20nm process foundry has just taken a stake in Fusion-io, a supplier of PCIe-connected flash solid-state drives. This should mean an increase in Fusion-io product capacities, once Samsung makes parts for Fusion using the new process. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.