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SanDisk, Toshiba team up to produce 3D memory chips

Posted: 19 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:3D memory? 3D chips? IP? NAND flash?

Expanding their ties, SanDisk Corp. and Toshiba Corp. plan to collaborate on the development of certain types of rewriteable 3D memory, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

"Both SanDisk and Toshiba 'will contribute and cross license technology related to the 3D collaboration and will jointly perform research and development,'' according to the filing from SanDisk, adding that, "As part of the licensing of its intellectual property, SanDisk will receive certain licensing payments from Toshiba.''

For years, both companies have collaborated in NAND flash. The companies are currently shipping 43nm NAND devices, with a three-bit-per-cell technology in the works.

Gregory Wong, president, Forward Insights, a consulting and market research company, said there are many challenges for this 3D technology.

''A four-level 3D rewriteable memory will have to at least catch up with NAND flash on process technology to be considered competitive with x4 NAND flash,'' Wong said, referring to NAND-based four-bit-per-cell technology.

''This would put 3D rewriteable memory at least 3 to 4 years out,'' he added. ''The other issue is whether an eight-level stack is manufacturable at high yields. This stack was demonstrated by Matrix in 2003 on a much less advanced 0.25?m geometry. Producing eight-level memory stacks at leading edge technology is another matter,'' he noted.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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