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NAND Flash Memory Faces Scaling Challenges
TORONTO, Ont., July 9, 2008

NAND flash memories have historically doubled densities every year with each new technology generation. This trend has been referred to “Hwang’s Law”, named after Hwang Chang-gyu, former President of Samsung Semiconductor who first coined the term. As NAND flash memory encounters scaling challenges, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain Hwang’s Law as chip sizes increase beyond 200mm2.

SLC (Single-Level-Cell) and MLC (Multi-Level-Cell) or 2-bit per cell technologies are the current mainstream technologies. NAND flash manufacturers are adopting 3-bit per cell and 4-bit per cell technologies to reduce chip sizes and correspondingly, costs. Three-bit per cell and 4-bit per cell technologies are expected to garner the majority of the market in four years.

NAND Flash Memory Chip Size Trend provides actual and estimated chip sizes for SLC, MLC, 3-bit per cell and 4-bit per cell technologies by density, process technology generation and vendor. The report covers product densities from 512Mb to 64Gb for Intel-Micron Flash Technologies, Numonyx/Hynix, Samsung and SanDisk/Toshiba.

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Forward Insights provides independent, insightful market and technical research, consulting and information services focusing on semiconductor memories and solid state storage.

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Gregory Wong

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