SanDisk, Toshiba to Launch 56-nm, 16-Gigabit NAND Flash Memory

SanDisk says that it expects to launch 56-nanometer multi-level cell flash memory chips this month with Toshiba at Fab 3, the 300mm wafer fabrication facility located at Toshiba's Yokkaichi Operations near Nagoya, Japan. By this spring, SanDisk intends to ship the highest available density of single-chip MLC NAND flash memory. After qualifying limited engineering samples, SanDisk plans to introduce the new 8-gigabit single-chip, MLC NAND flash memory on 56nm process technology in the coming weeks, with commercial shipments slated for later in the first quarter. In Q2-07, the company expects to introduce monolithic 16-gigabit NAND, which will be the highest density single-chip MLC NAND flash memory in the industry.

With the technology and design advances in 56nm, SanDisk products also will offer approximately twice the improvement in write performance compared to the 70nm generation. SanDisk and Toshiba share output from the Yokkaichi facility and have co-developed many of the designs and technologies in MLC NAND flash. The new 56nm flash will be produced initially at Fab 3, the first 300mm wafer facility that SanDisk and Toshiba opened in 2005. By the end of this year, Fab 4, the new 300mm facility now under construction in connection with Flash Alliance, a venture between the two companies, will begin 56nm flash production.

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