Samsung ups the ante in chip manufacturing
Samsung has developed a new chip manufacturing technique that will be able to increase the amount of music, videos, pictures, and other data users can store in upcoming iPods, portable media players and devices significantly. This is made possible courtesy of a 64 Gbit multilevel cell (MLC) NAND flash memory chip that was manufactured with an entirely new 30 nanometer production technology. To get an idea of how small a nanometer is, it measures a billionth of a meter and refers to the average size of the smallest features on the chip itself. This manufacturing breakthrough will enable Samsung to bring a leapfrog difference in the storage capacity of new NAND flash memory chips the moment it is produced on a commercial basis. I could definitely live with the idea of having more memory, especially when it is more stable unlike the hard drive platform.
Take for example, cramming in 16 of these 64 Gbit chips into a single 128GB memory card will provide ample storage for up to 80 full length DVD movies, or the equivalent of 32,000 MP3 audio files. Even better news for users would be the ability of Samsung to make this technological leap without the need to upgrade their current chip making manufacturing equipment that could potentially be extremely costly. In fact, standard photolithography equipment is good enough to etch circuits on the silicon wafers, resulting in reasonable production costs as well as end user prices that do not hurt the wallet as with other new technologies.
To date, Samsung has already applied for 30 patents related to this new 64 Gbit flash chip, and has plans to develop a 32 Gbit chip utilizing a similar production technology. Mass production of the former is tipped to begin in 2009, so don’t hold out on purchasing an iPod Touch just yet – by that time, Cupertino could possible release a new iPod using this new flash chip.
Source: PC World