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Samsung Electronics Co Ltd announced Aug 6, 2013, that it has started volume production of the industry's first three-dimensional (3D) NAND flash memory called "Vertical NAND (V-NAND)."

The V-NAND is targeted at the embedded NAND storages and SSDs of consumer and industrial devices.

For the V-NAND, Samsung employed a 3D cell structure using Charge Trap Flash (CTF) technology, which stores electrons in a nitride film. The number of its stacked cell layers is 24. The company reduced manufacturing cost by using its own etching technique to punch holes from the highest layer to the bottom.

Compared with 20nm-generation floating-gate planer NAND flash memories, the density of the V-NAND can more than 100% higher. The capacity of the chip to be mass-produced is 128 Gbits.

Also, compared with 10nm-generation floating-gate NAND flash memories, the operation reliability and writing speed of the V-NAND can be 100-900% and 100% higher, respectively. The capacity of the new memory can be increased to 1 Tbit or higher, Samsung said.

In the case of existing planar NAND flash memories, the distance between floating gates becomes smaller as manufacturing process technology proceeds, causing a serious interference among cells. To address such problems, NAND flash makers such as Samsung and Toshiba Corp have been engaged in the development of 3D NAND flash memories. But Samsumg took the lead by starting the volume production.

Hearing the news, other NAND flash makers might start volume production of their 3D NAND memories ahead of schedule.