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Gear up for 32nm NAND chips

Posted: 14 Jan 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:chip NAND? device 32nm? Toshiba NAND SanDisk?

SanDisk disclosed that it will roll out 32nm devices in 2009. Its partner, Toshiba, is also reported to roll out 32nm NAND chips in the later part of the year.

At present, SanDisk and Toshiba have begun ramping up 43nm devices. The latest 43nm products are based on four-bit-per-cell (x4) technology. Starting in mid-2009, SanDisk will ship 32nm devices, based on two-bit-per-cell (x2) and three-bit-per-cell (x3) technology, said Sanjay Mehrotra, president and chief operating officer at SanDisk during a presentation at the Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS).

With the announcement, SanDisk and Toshiba could take the technology lead by a nose. In comparison, the Intel-Micron duo recently rolled out a 34nm NAND part. Market leader Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd is delivering 42nm parts, according to Forward Insights.

Manage the supply line
But is there any demand for NAND? For some time, NAND has been mired in a downturn, due to excess capacity. ''2008 was an extremely challenging year,'' which will ''continue in 2009,'' Mehrotra said.

To help solve the problem, vendors must ''manage supply in line with anticipated demand,'' he said.

SanDisk and Toshiba have done their parts. Toshiba recently announced an adjustment to production of NAND flash memory at its Yokkaichi Operations plant in Mie Prefecture, Japan. The adjustment will cut production by approximately 30 percent, effective from January 2009. SanDisk and Toshiba have a joint fab venture in Japan to make NAND flash.

Beyond the doom-and-gloom, there are some major growth drives for NAND. Add-on cards and solid-state drives are among the drivers, he said.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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