Samsung starts mass production of 70nm flash

Larger storage densities at cheaper prices could soon be on the cards, in the drives and behind new mobile devices

Memory card prices look likely to fall following Samsung's announcement late on Monday that it had begun mass-producing 4Gb NAND Flash memory chips using a 70nm process.

NAND Flash memory is used in CompactFlash cards, and also in portable devices such as MP3 players, digital cameras and USB memory sticks.

Moving to this 70nm process will allow the creation of memory chips that are smaller, faster and cheaper than the 90nm process that has been used before. Samsung claims that a 4Gb NAND flash chip built using this 70nm process will be able to write data at 16MBps, 50 percent faster than the previous generation and fast enough to record high-definition digital video. Production quantities of the new chips are expected to increase the maximum storage capacity of USB memory sticks, which now commonly top out at 1GB, to 4GB or 8GB.

Samsung announced back in September that it had created 70nm 4Gb NAND Flash memory. Tuesday's announcement shows that the firm can now ship the product in commercial quantities.