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SK hynix develops 176-layer 512-gigabit NAND flash

SK hynix’s 176-layer 512-gigabit NAND flash (SK hynix)
SK hynix’s 176-layer 512-gigabit NAND flash (SK hynix)
SK hynix announced Monday that the chipmaker has finished development of its 176-layer 512-gigabit 4D NAND flash chips, the third generation product in its 4D NAND line-up.

The Korean chipmaker is the second player, after US-based Micron to announce the industry’s highest-level NAND product, beating market leader Samsung Electronics.

According to the company, its new 176-layer NAND flash has cells with 20 percent faster read speed and 33 percent data transfer speed at 1.6Gbps -- when compared to its previous generation.

The South Korean chipmaker added that it had delivered the product to its partner company to invent new products using the memory chips.

Starting around in mid-2021, SK hynix will begin introducing the new NAND flash in mobile devices first. The solutions for mobile devices would increase the maximum program and read speeds by 35 percent and 70 percent, respectively -- when compared to the previous generation product.
Next year, the company would also introduce solid-state drive products that individual and corporate customers can use, it said.

The latest NAND flash product by SK hynix has combined a charge trap flash design and the peripheral under cells architecture, technologies that company has been using since 2018 to maximize space efficiency.

CTF uses a silicon nitride film to store electrons, allowing chipmakers to store multiple bits on a single flash memory cell with fewer process steps. PUC allows peripheral circuits to be relocated under the cell array.

Meanwhile, SK hynix would press ahead with developing 176-layer NAND flash with 1 terabit capacity, the company said.

“SK hynix, one of the pioneers in 4D NAND flash, would make the efforts to lead the NAND flash market,” said Jung Dal Choi, Head of NAND Development at SK hynix.

According to market research firm Omdia, the global NAND flash market is expected to grow at 1.366 trillion gigabytes in 2024 from 431.8 billion gigabytes in 2020, marking an annual growth rate of 33.4 percent.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)
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