A year after it was announced at the event, Samsung's vertical NAND continues to be the talk -- but not the commerce -- of the booming flash sector.
The approach promises an easier, lower-cost way to make several generations of more dense chips. Some observers say hopes of rival persistent memory architectures wanting to gaining market traction could be pushed out several years.
All that said, V-NAND has yet to ship in any solid-state drive, according to analyst Jeff Janukowicz of International Data Corp. "We expect to see the first SSDs ship this quarter with V-NAND," he said.
Apparently Samsung's first 24-layer, 2-bit/cell 128 Gbit chips never got much beyond the sampling stage. It suggested the 32-layer, 3-bit/cell designs announced this week will ship in SSDs within a month.
Competitors such as SanDisk and Toshiba have talked about their plans in this area, but have yet to ship rival products. "We're not expecting others to sample components until the second half of 2015 and production will be beyond that time," Janukowicz said.
"Samsung has opened a large gap with competitors with 3D NAND if its cost per GByte projections are correct," said analyst Handel Jones of International Business Strategies, Inc. in an email exchange.
Samsung tipped plans for its 32-layer 3-bit/cell vertical NAND at the event.
Next page: Looking beyond NAND, Part 1