SAN JOSE, Calif. As expected, SanDisk Corp. Tuesday (Jan. 23) announced that it expects to launch 56-nm, multi-level cell (MLC) flash memory chips this month with Toshiba Corp. at Fab 3, its 300-mm wafer fabrication venture located at Toshiba's Yokkaichi operations near Nagoya, Japan.
The SanDisk-Toshiba duo were originally supposed to roll out 52-nm NAND devices, but the company scaled back its technical targets, and instead, devised 56-nm parts, due to the complexities of the technology.
By this spring, however, SanDisk intends to ship the highest available density of single-chip MLC NAND flash memory in the market, based on a 56-nm process, according to the company. SanDisk sells flash storage cards, based on the technology.
After qualifying limited engineering samples, SanDisk plans to introduce the new 8-gigabit single-chip, MLC NAND flash memory on 56-nm process technology in the coming weeks, with commercial shipments slated for later in the first quarter.
In Q2, the company expects to introduce monolithic 16-gigabit NAND, which will be the highest density single-chip MLC NAND flash memory in the industry.
SanDisk (Milpitas, Calif.) and Toshiba (Tokyo) share the output from the Yokkaichi facility. The new 56-nm flash will be produced initially at Fab 3, the first 300mm wafer facility that SanDisk and Toshiba opened in 2005.
By the end of this year, Fab 4, the new 300-mm facility now under construction in connection with Flash Alliance Ltd., a venture between the two companies, will begin 56-nm flash production.