Feeds

NAND flash chips to beat shrink wrap cash trap with 3D stack

Save us from the INCREDIBLE shrinking NAND...and incredibly expensive alternatives

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Stacked 3D NAND chips will make up the majority of the flash chip market by 2017, eclipsing today's dominant chip-shrinking tech as flash makers cram ever-greater capacities into a smaller footprint, according to beancounters IHS.

The tech analysts have produced a chart showing stacked or 3D NAND taking up just over two-thirds of the market by 2017, up from barely one or two per cent of flash chips shipped today.

3D NAND chart

Global Forecast of 3-D NAND's Share of Total NAND Flash Memory Shipments (Percentage of Unit Shipments) Source: IHS Inc Oct 2013.

Why is it happening? Long story short: shrinking NAND flash beyond 19-16nm geometry is proving to be expensive and unreliable as bit values can flip. So, to get more capacity in the same chip footprint, more layers of flash cells are added to the chips.

Samsung is doing this with its V-NAND technology, announced in August.

Dee Robinson, IHS's senior analyst for memory and storage, provided the canned backing quote for the chart: "There’s widespread agreement that just one or two generations may be left before NAND flash made using conventional planar semiconductor technology reaches its theoretical limit. As lithographies shrink further, performance and reliability may become too degraded for NAND to be used in anything but the very lowest-cost consumer products."

Stacking layers on the chips enables capacity increases to keep on coming as well as, hopefully, lowering the cost/bit.

The IHS bods also say: "This will be the most cost-effective way of pushing NAND to the next level because most of the existing manufacturing equipment can continue to be used, minimising expenses while maximising return on investment," although "failure analysis will be difficult because of the multi-level structure of the device." ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'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
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
AWS pulls desktop-as-a-service from the PC
Support for PCoIP protocol means zero clients can run cloudy desktops
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.