Samsung’s Plan for Terabit Flash Memory

Researchers at Samsung, one of the leading producers of flash-memory chips, recently announced a new chip that can hold twice as much data as before, and without an increase in its footprint on a circuit board. They were able to double the data capacity by building chips with multiple layers of silicon, creating 3-D structures. At the International Electron Device meeting in San Francisco last week, lead researcher Soon-Moon Jung said that by combining today’s chip-making processes with the new 3-D design, they could build a one-terabit flash chip composed of eight layers of silicon.

Because flash-memory chips are made with silicon, their storage capacity has consistently increased, while chip size has shrunk. But, like microprocessors, flash memory will face fabrication hurdles in the next few years. Right now, the features on many flash-memory chips are about 60 nanometers wide. Some engineers estimate that today’s lithography systems, used to pattern and carve out these features, will only be able to keep shrinking them until about 2009. And even then, the chips face physical limitations. Samsung’s Jung says that with features smaller than 30 nanometers, electrical charges stored in a flash-memory cell will start to leak, meaning data will be lost.

So the Samsung researchers set out to find a way to use existing fabrication technology to increase flash capacity. Jung says that two elements were key: minimizing the amount of extra area used for their stacking architecture, and keeping the number of extra fabrication steps to a minimum, so as not to drive up costs.

Although Samsung didn’t offer a specific timeline for its 3-D flash memory, Jung says that it could “be rapidly deployed because it can fully utilize existing 2-D planar technology. The prototype memory chip announced in San Francisco is still in its early stages and only has a capacity of 32 bits. Still, the results are encouraging. “I think it’s an interesting demonstration of concept,” says Subramanian. “The fact that they got it to work and they’re getting very good electrical data, and the fact that the multiple layers built on top of each other work pretty nicely, is attractive.”

Yet Subramanian cautions that the technology for 3-D flash still needs to prove its manufacturability. Even with Samsung’s results, adding layers of silicon increases the number of steps in the process and ultimately makes the chip more expensive. “Flash memory is very driven by price, and it’s a very cutthroat business,” he says.




Further reading:
possible flash memory replacement phase change memory

Ovonic cognitive computer possible transistory replacement from the inventor of phase change memory

About The Author

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.

2 comments

by Newest
by Best by Newest by Oldest
1

As a special token of my appreciation for all your kind help and the wonderful business you have sent my way---I want to give you a free gift.
It is called the "$25000.00 Idea". It will help you in all your endeavors.
Click here: http://global-mlm-money-machine.ws/page5.html" REL="nofollow">FREE GIFT

2

Hello my dear internet friends! I have some very exiting news. A lot of you know me pretty well now and have helped me a lot. I sincerely appreciate you and I want to do the same for you. Please take a moment to check out this excellent opportunity. I am so very proud to be a part of this business, I just don't have the space I need here to fully express my gratitude and I know you will feel the same way I do. You can even try it out at no charge. Take some time to explore and learn what could be one of the most significant aspects in your life. You will not be wasting your time and I will be honored for you to be my guest. You will love this... Please give me a chance to prove it to you. Click here: http://www.myadtrack.com//control/redirect.php?id=1985" REL="nofollow">new-wave It elegantly covers new-wave related ideas and FREE information. Sincerely, Scott.