Toshiba's 15nm flash shrink means denser, smaller, faster mobile devices

Toshiba's 15nm flash shrink means denser, smaller, faster mobile devices

Summary: Flash chips should get slower as feature sizes shrink. But Toshiba seems to have broken the code with a new smaller feature size that is faster than the 19nm process they use now.

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image_of_15nm_NAND_Flash_Memories
Courtesy of Toshiba Corporation.

Toshiba announced 15nm process technology, which will apply to 2-bit-per-cell 128-gigabit (16 gigabytes) NAND flash memories. Mass production with the new technology will start at the end of April, replacing second generation 19 nm process technology.

The new chips achieve the same write speed as chips from 19 nm process technology, but boost the data transfer rate to 533 megabits a second, 1.3 times faster, by employing a high-speed interface and, I suspect, larger controller buffers and more parallelism.

They also expect to use the process with 3-bit-per-cell chips, and to start mass production in June. The company plans to develop controllers in parallel and to introduce 3-bit-per-cell products for smartphones and tablets. They're also looking to the notebook market by developing a controller for solid state drives (SSD).

The Storage Bits take

Toshiba invented flash decades ago and pushed ahead productizing the technology when it seemed nearly hopeless. But about 10 years ago flash got cheaper than DRAM and the storage landscape has never been the same.

While there are exciting developments in new NVRAM technology, this announcement is a reminder that NAND flash remains a moving target. Toshiba's 15nm process mean denser, smaller, and, surprisingly, faster mobile devices.

Comments welcome, as always. Seriously, the industry says 10nm is about the limit for NAND flash. Will they figure out a way to break through that limit too?

Topics: Storage, Hardware, Toshiba

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4 comments
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  • Exceptional neologism

    Just wondering where you came up with the license to fabricate and use "productizing" and what its possible definition is.
    ineptune
    • Ignorance is curable, stupidity endures

      Did you try looking up the word in a dictionary -- a strange concept when running into an unknown word, but hey, it works for me.

      Productize is defined as take a concept, device etc. from development to a marketable product. A paraphrase from the Oxford dictionary.

      Oddly enough, that seems to match how Robin Harris used the word.
      DNSB
  • OED

    To quote a bit more from the OED, an example,
    "Today (to use equally horrible jargon), the Digital Road requires that companies "productize" their services."

    Where he said, "Toshiba invented flash decades ago and pushed ahead productizing the technology" he could have said, "Toshiba invented flash decades ago and pushed ahead developing the technology in to a viable product"

    I'm with ineptune on this one, it's a hidious word. Americans have bastardised the English language for far too long.
    stubright
    • Speaking of "bastardizing"...

      While I agree with the unfortunate misuse of putting an "...ize" after a word to give it another meaning, I do have to chuckle at the fact that it is felt that Americans have bastardized (notice the "ize"?) the English language.

      This is from the same country that still watches the "tellie," listens to the "wireless," and expects the whole world to understand and figure out what "WC" stands for.
      Electrosurg