Toshiba Corp. (Toshiba), reinforcing its leadership in the development and fabrication of powerful, high density NAND flash memory, announced with Toshiba America Electronic Components, its subsidiary in the Americas, development of technology for a 16-gigabit (Gb) NAND flash memory chip, fabricated with 43-nanometer (nm) process technology co-developed with SanDisk Corporation of Milpitas, California. The technology of the new chip was reported on Feb. 6, in Session 23.6 of the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco.
The new 16Gb products have a chip area of 120 square millimeters, about 30 percent less than same density NAND-flash memories jointly developed by Toshiba and SanDisk and fabricated with 56nm process technology. Memory cells are grouped and controlled in NAND strings of 64 cells aligned in parallel, double the number of 56nm devices, with a dummy word-line at either end to prevent program disturbance. This technology contributes to reduce the number of select gates and to improve memory area efficiency. Modification of the peripheral circuit design also contributes to reduced chip area: the addition of high voltage switches to the circuit reduces the number of control-gate driver circuits required to drive word lines, and ground buses are routed on the memory cell arrays.
Toshiba will start shipments of commercial samples of new 16Gb (2 gigabyte) single-chip, multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memories, the current mainstream density, from today, and start mass production from March. Toshiba intends to start mass production of 32Gb (4 gigabyte) NAND flash memories early in the third quarter of this year (July–September 2008). The new chips will be produced at Fab 4, the latest 300mm wafer fabrication facility at Toshiba’s Yokkaichi Operations, in Mie prefecture, Japan.
By combining advanced process and MLC technologies, and through continued advances in production efficiency, Toshiba intends to enhance cost competitiveness and meet the needs of the NAND flash memory market.
About Toshiba Corp. and TAEC
Through proven commitment, lasting relationships and advanced, reliable electronic components, Toshiba enables its customers to create market-leading designs. Toshiba is the heartbeat within product breakthroughs from OEMs, ODMs, CMs, distributions and fabless chip companies worldwide. A committed electronic components leader, Toshiba designs and manufactures high-quality flash memory-based storage solutions, discrete devices, displays, advanced materials, medical tubes, custom SoCs/ASICs, digital multimedia and imaging products, microcontrollers and wireless components that make possible today’s leading cell phones, MP3 players, cameras, medical devices, automotive electronics and more. Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. is an independent operating company owned by Toshiba America, Inc., a subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation, Japan ‘s largest semiconductor manufacturer and the world’s third largest semiconductor manufacturer (Gartner, 2007 WW Semiconductor Revenue Estimate, Dec. 2007).