According to some media，Samsung Electronics is accelerating the development of V-NAND flashes with 200 or more layers.
“The company has already secured a working chip of its 8th generation V-NAND solution featuring over 200 layers and plans to introduce it to the market in accordance with consumer demand,” said Song Jai-hyuk, executive vice president and head of Flash Memory Product & Technology, in an article published on the company’s newsroom.
Samsung Electronics is currently conducting research with the goal of developing 8th-generation 228-layer V-NAND flashes.
The company is currently testing a production line for 7th-generation 176-layer V-NAND flashes at Pyeongtaek's new fab, Plant 2. The production volume is 10,000 sheets of 12-inch wafers per month. It is expected to immediately start preparations for mass-production of 8th-generation V-NAND flashes when this line goes live during the second half of 2021.
It is quite unusual for Samsung Electronics to disclose the number of layers of the next-generation NAND flash before launching the new product. It is common not to officially announce the number of layers because the number of layers could change or a product roadmap could change during the development process. Song’s article seems to be aimed at emphasizing that no company can rival Samsung Electronics in terms of NAND flash technology.
Until now, Samsung Electronics has demonstrated its unrivaled influence in the NAND market, but recently, unexpected events have taken place. Micron Technology announced in November 2020 that it started mass-producing 176-layer NAND flashes for the first time in the world. SK Hynix officially announced that it has secured 176-layer NAND flash technology. In other words, Samsung Electronics is facing challenges to its technological superiority. Some analysts say that Samsung Electronics will speed up mass-production of 8th-generation V-NAND flashes right after mass-production of 7th-generation products begins, in a bid to maintain the technology gap with its rivals.
Song introduced the company’s 7th-generation V-NAND product that will be mass-produced soon. He said that Samsung’s 176-layer 7th generation V-NAND is similar in height to the industry’s 6th generation, 100+ layer V-NAND.
“Samsung managed to reduce the cell volume up to 35% by decreasing both its surface area and height through highly innovative 3D scaling technology,” he said.
Samsung Electronics is planning to release the industry’s first cell-sized solid state drive (SSD) for consumers in the second half of 2021.