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Samsung to produce world’s first 5th generation V NAND flashes

The South-Korean Mobile and electronics giant said yesterday that the company will start the production soon. Now Samsung will mass produce the world’s first 5th generation V NAND flashes (96-layer).

As the V NAND layer-stacking has become common, competition in layer-stacking is not worth it, Samsung said, “The crucial part is to solve the real issues including speed performance in stacking performance rather than stacking higher.”

Unlike DRAM, NAND flashed are a type of memory semiconductors which store data even when the power is off, the V NAND flashes are equipped in smart devices including mobiles and data center servers.

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It’s been five years Samsung has been developing this technology since the first generation which was started in 2013, Samsung added 32 layers in the 2nd generation in 2014. In 2015, Samsung stacked 48 layers on the 3rd generation flashes. The last most popular to date was 4th generation flashes with 64 layers and that was the end of the 4th generation.

Samsung is working now on 5th generation V-NAND flashes which have the ability to send 1.4 gigabits per second, which is 1.4 times faster than the predecessor 4th generation.

There is also an improvement in power consumption; the operating voltage required is reduced by 33% from 1.8V to 1.2V even the cell of 5th generation flash has increased. The fifth generation V NAND flash has the technology which is superior, the drop in speed was inevitable with increasing number of layers by lowering the height of a cell by 20%. Samsung’s official said, “We stacked layers like a pyramid and we drilled tiny holes of a diameter of several hundred nanometers vertically from top to bottom. This becomes the most challenging technology which forms more than 85 billion 3-D cells which store data.”

The technology has increased the number of layers significantly, 1.5 times from 64 layers to 96 layers in the fifth generation, however, the height is also extended 1.2 times, Samsung told that its productivity producing the fifth generation is improved 30% as compared to the production of the 4th generation.

This technology increased the number of layers 1.5 times (64 layers of the fourth generation to 96 layers of the fifth generation), but the height extended 1.2 times. “We will push the change of the next-generation memory market by expanding our V NAND products to one terabyte (Tb) and quad level cell (QLC) V NAND products,” said Samsung’s vice president of Memory Division Byeon Hyun.

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Samsung’s efforts towards mass production of 5th generation V NANDs is in response to Chinese companies pursuing semiconductor plans, also the widening gap with Japan’s Toshiba who first developed NAND flash for the first time.

Chinese semiconductor firm YMTC (Yangtz Memory Technology Company) has announced to begin 32-layer V-NAND flashes later this year. Samsung is still ahead of all companies producing either 32-layer, 64-layer or 72-layer V-NAND flashes. Toshiba currently produces 64-layer V-NAND and SK Hynix produced 72-layer 4th generation V-NAND.

According to the agency HIS Markit which conducts market analysis, Samsung is at the top of NAND flash market share with a whopping 38.2% of market share during the first quarter of this year. Toshiba ranked 2 with 18.5% market share, Western Digital has a 13.6% market share and SK Hynix is standing with a 10.3% share.