LONDON Competition is hotting up in NAND flash memory as South Korea's Hynix Semiconductor Inc. has claimed it has used a 26-nm manufacturing process technology to produce a device with a capacity of 64-Gbits, according to reports. And local rival Samsung has said it is aiming to have a 27-nm NAND flash memory in production in the second quarter of 2010, according to another report.
With its announcement Hynix is following hard on the heels of Intel and Micron who, with their manufacturing joint venture, rolled out a 25-nm, 64-Gbit device earlier this month, thereby recapturing the technology lead in NAND flash memory.
Hynix has replied saying: "The new chip will allow us to double our productivity when compared to what we achieved with the 30-nanometer products by dramatically reducing cost," according to a quote in a Korea Times report.
Hynix is planning to mass produce the chips from the third quarter of this year the report said. However, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. could beat Hynix to the production punch, according to a Telecoms Korea report. "Samsung completed developing 27-nanometer process NAND flash in October and we plan to mass produce them from the second quarter," Telecoms Korea quoted an un-named Samsung official saying.
The reports did not state whether the Hynix and Samsung design employ multilevel cell technology, as the Intel, Micron device does.
The worldwide NAND flash memory market is expected to hit $18.8 billion in 2010 or about 7 percent of the overall semiconductor market and up from $15.4 billion in 2009, according to IC Insights Inc. That would represent a jump of 22 percent on an annual basis. The overall IC market is expected to hit $270 billion in 2010, up 15 percent over 2009, according to the firm.
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