Samsung Electronics made an announcement on May 29 that it began to mass produce the industry’s first 2nd-gen 3D V-NAND flash memory chips in a 32-layer stack using the first-gen facilities at the company’s semiconductor plant in Hwaseong City near Seoul. The company anticipates that it will be able to offer a competitive price by increasing the number of stacked layers more than 30 percent, thus improving the density of a separation of individual components, using existing facilities.
Currently, Samsung is the only company in the world that has successfully commercialized 3D V-NAND flash memory chips.
Last year, the world’s largest memory chip maker rolled out the world’s first 1st-gen solid state drive (SSD) based on its 3D V-NAND technology, and therefore created a 3D V-NAND flash memory market. It introduced a 2nd-gen 3D V-NAND SSD for premium PCs this year, opening a new era for the popularization of 3D memory. The new lineup of SSDs — 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB models — all have double the life expectancy and consume 20 percent less power than the existing SSDs based on 2-bit/cell Multi Layer Cell (MLC) NAND flash.
Meanwhile, market research firm Gartner predicts that the size of the global memory market will grow from US$75.5 billion this year to US$79.7 billion in 2017. In particular, the global NAND flash market is expected to be worth US$44.6 billion, making up more than half of the market, and thus leading the growth of the memory market.