SanDisk develops the world’s smallest 128Gb flash chip

The new NAND flash chip measures just 170mm².

SanDisk’s well known X3 technology giving 3 bits per flash cell instead of the usual 1 or 2 bits that SLC and MLC traditionally employ. This technology is traditionally considered inferior due to a lower speed. But SanDisk has managed to deal with this problem making the chip useful also in devices such as SSDs.  This level of performance is achieved using SanDisk’s patented advanced all bit line (ABL) architecture and means that X3 technology could be extended to certain product categories that use MLC NAND flash memory.

According to the press release from SanDisk the chip is fabbed using 19nm NAND flash technology, which is the world’s smallest process – and just one nanometer smaller than a similar process used by IMFT owned by Intel and Micron.

Building a 128Gb NAND flash memory chip with this level of complexity is an incredible achievement,” said Mehrdad Mofidi, vice president, Memory Design. “This innovation allows SanDisk to continue to be a leader in helping our customers deliver smaller, more powerful products capable of doing more at lower cost.

While competing technologies are still trying to catch up as far as price and capacity goes, NAND flash seems to keep marching on.

With the latest chip you can actually manufacture a fast and reliable 10 channel SSD using just 10 chips and have a capacity of around 128GB and then some to spare for error correction and to use if any of the much used blocks should wear out.S|A

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