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August 6, 2013

Samsung Starts Mass Producing Industry’s First 3D Vertical NAND Flash

Following the logical progression along flash storage development, Samsung has just announced that it will begin mass producing 3D "vertical NAND" (V-NAND) flash chips. Although we know Samsung as a massive consumer electronics company, the Korean manufacturer also has a lucrative business making the internal components — such as processors, flash storage and displays — for many different device manufacturers.

We've talked before about the move by Samsung (and other manufacturers) to smaller technology for fitting a denser amount of storage on the same physical area with the move to a 10nm-class manufacturing process, but as the name would lead you to expect this new 3D NAND system goes a step further. Rather than sticking to a traditional "planar" (flat) structure, Samsung is now building chips that stack components vertically — up to 24 cell layers high.

Just like moving to a smaller architecture, moving to V-NAND has inherent advantages in both reliability and speeds for the resulting chips. Samsung says that these first V-NAND chips are 2 to 10 times more reliable and have 2 times the write performance when compared to existing 10nm-class flash memory.

With mass production starting now, Samsung expects the new chips to be in resulting consumer electronics from consumer-class computer SSDs down to embedded flash storage in the near future.