SEOUL, South Korea Korean chip maker Hynix Semiconductor Inc. has disclosed an aggressive product roadmap to mass produce NAND-based flash memory.
Hynix is quietly readying its first 70-nm NAND-based flash devices, including an advanced 16-gigabit chip. The company is shipping a range of 90-nm, NAND-based chips at 1-, 2-, 4-, and 8-Gbit densities, built around a single-level cell (SLC) technology, according to officials from Hynix at the Sedex Korea 2005 trade show here.
According to its product roadmap, the company will shortly launch its initial 70-nm parts, including 4-, 8-, and 16-Gbit parts. Hynix plans to sample its 16-Gbit NAND device in November, with production slated for sometime next year.
If it can bring the chip to market, the product could propel Hynix into one of the technology leaders in NAND flash. Last month, rival Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. claimed to develop the world's highest density NAND flash memory a 16-Gbit device made using a 50-nn technology. The device is slated for production in the second half of 2006 (see Sept. 12 story).
Hynix is also moving on the fab front. Work has begun on the construction of a memory manufacturing wafer fab in Wuxi City, China, which is a joint-venture between STMicroelectronics Inc. and Hynix. When completed, the Wuxi fab is scheduled to manufacture both DRAM and NAND flash memories as an extension an existing manufacturing relationship between Hynix and ST.
A line for processing 8-in. wafers is scheduled to begin production by the end of this year, initially with a manufacturing process transferred from Hynix' existing fabs in Korea. A line for 300-mm diameter wafers is due to begin production in late 2006 (see April 28 story).
Until now, Hynix had been rather mysterious about its product plans in flash despite staggering growth in the arena. In the second quarter of 2005, Hynix grew more than 57 percent in the sector on a sequential basis, according to iSuppli Corp.
A relative newcomer to flash, the company was the third largest NAND-based flash-memory supplier in the second quarter, only behind Samsung Electronics Co. and Toshiba Corp., according to iSuppli.
Meanwhile, creditors of South Korean chip company Hynix are set to sell about 24 percent of the company following the early completion of a four-year debt restructuring process. The company has been returned to the control of its management and Hynix is now 81 percent owned by creditors after bail-outs worth 4.9 trillion won (about $4.7 billion) saved the company from bankruptcy.