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SK Hynix successfully developed 238 layers of 4D NAND flash memory, mass production in the first half of next year

South Korea’s SK Hynix has developed a 238-layer NAND flash chip that can be used in PC storage devices, smartphones and servers. Last week Micron also began shipping 232-layer NAND flash chips. SK Hynix claims the new 238-layer chip is the smallest NAND flash chip, with a 50% increase in data transfer speed compared to its predecessor and a 21% reduction in the energy consumed to read data.

SK hynix is preparing to start mass production of the new chips in the first half of 2023.

Intel’s NAND business was renamed Solidigm after it was acquired by SK Hynix, which together with SK Hynix accounted for 18% of the global NAND flash memory market, second only to Samsung’s 35.3% and Kioxia’s 18.9%.

The following is the full text of the official press release:

SK Hynix announced on August 3 that it has successfully developed the world’s first 238-layer NAND flash memory with the highest number of layers in the industry.

Recently, SK Hynix has sent samples of 238-layer 512Gb TLC (Triple Level Cell)* 4D NAND flash memory to customers and plans to start mass production in the first half of 2023. The company said: “Since the completion of the research and development of 176-layer NAND flash memory in December 2020, only one year and seven months later, SK Hynix has successfully completed the research and development of a new generation of technology for the first time in the world. The 238-layer NAND flash memory has reached the highest level in the industry. The smallest area in the world is achieved while stacking the number of layers, which is even more significant.”

NAND flash memory chips can be divided into SLC (Single Level Cell), MLC (Multi-Level Cell), TLC (Triple Level Cell), QLC (Quadruple Level Cell), PLC (Penta Level Cell) and other specifications according to the amount of information (bits, bits) that can be stored in each cell. Penta Level Cell) and other specifications. The larger the cell information storage capacity, the more data can be stored per unit area.

On the same day, SK Hynix debuted its new 238-layer NAND flash memory products at the Flash Memory Summit 2022* held in Santa Clara, USA. In his keynote speech at the summit, Mr. Choi said, “Based on its 4D NAND flash technology, SK Hynix has successfully developed the world’s first 238-layer NAND flash memory, thus ensuring global competitiveness in cost, performance and product quality. The company will continue to innovate and breakthrough technology bottlenecks.”

  • Flash Memory Summit (FMS): SK Hynix gave a joint keynote speech with its NAND flash solution subsidiary Solidigm at this summit, the world’s highest level seminar on flash memory chips, which is held regularly every year in Santa Clara, California.

SK Hynix went beyond the traditional 3D approach and introduced the 4D approach with the 96-layer NAND flash memory developed in 2018. To successfully develop chips with 4D architecture, the company adopted charge-trapping type technology (CTF, Charge Trap Flash)* and PUC (Peri. Under Cell)* technology. Compared to the 3D method, the 4D architecture has the advantage of a smaller cell area and higher production efficiency.

The 238-layer NAND flash memory successfully stacks higher levels while achieving the industry’s smallest footprint. The new product has a higher density per unit area, enabling more chips to be produced on the same size silicon wafer with a smaller area, resulting in a 34% increase in productivity compared to 176-layer NAND flash.

In addition, the 238-layer NAND flash memory has a data transfer speed of 2.4Gbps, which is 50% faster than its predecessor and consumes 21% less energy to read data from the chip. It can be said that SK Hynix has also made noteworthy progress in ESG by saving power consumption of the chip.

SK Hynix plans to supply 238-layer NAND flash memory for cSSD (client SSD, which is mainly used in storage devices for PCs) first, and then gradually extend its introduction to smartphones and high-capacity servers SSDs, among others. The company will also release a new 1Tb density 238-layer NAND flash product next year, which is twice as dense as the existing product.

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Threza Gabriel
Threza Gabrielhttps://www.techgoing.com
TechGoing is a global tech media to brings you the latest technology stories, including smartphones, electric vehicles, smart home devices, gaming, wearable gadgets, and all tech trending.
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