Toshiba 15nm Flash Memory in Mass Production

Subject: General Tech, Storage | April 23, 2014 - 05:57 PM |
Tagged: toshiba, ssd, 15nm

While we often see smaller fabrication nodes discussed in terms of faster and more power efficient processors, it also increases storage density for memory circuits. In fact, it is probably easier to visualize how a process shrink will increase memory capacity than it is to ponder the benefits for CPUs and GPUs. Smaller features in the same area gives more places to cram data. Toshiba is starting to mass produce 15nm NAND Flash at Fab 5 in Yokkaichi.

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While not mentioned in the press release, I believe that SanDisk and Toshiba are still in a partnership. The facility being discussed was actually a $4 Billion USD joint-venture between these two companies. I, reasonably, expect that SanDisk will also see some benefits from today's announcement. According to the press release, 15nm MLC is already in mass production with TLC following in June.

I brought up this story to Allyn, to see if he had any insights on it. He noted that 15nm is getting quite small. I asked about its implications in terms of write longevity, as that is has been the biggest concern in previous node shrinks. He guesses that the flash should be able to handle around 1,000 writes on average, compared to ~3,000 writes on IMFT's 20nm process. Keep in mind, IMFT prides itself on enterprise longevity and so, at least to me, it sounds fairly reasonable. Toshiba also mentions that they will have products for the high reliability market, such as enterprise SSDs.

The announcement does not mention anything that you can go out and buy yet, though. At the moment, it is behind-the-scenes stuff. It should be soon. I doubt that Toshiba would mass produce components like this without products or OEMs lined up.

Source: Toshiba
April 25, 2014 | 10:39 PM - Posted by razor512

Customer: He, I just purchased your SSD and after copying around 5 minutes worth of mp3 audio to it, all subsequent writes now fail or become corrupted.

CSR: well what were you thinking writing so much data to your SSD? that must have been nearly 4MB worth of data!!!

Customer: but my old SSD handled it just fine.

CSR: well 15nm TCL flash storage is different. If needed, you can purchase replacement NAND chips from our supplier, in addition to a high end automated reflow station.

Customer: Can the automated reflow station be programmed to work with a pick and place machine

CSR: Yes it can, that will work wonderfully for your needs, now for each song, you can number each NAND chip, and have the machine automatically remove the old BGA's, and store them in a special case which you can label, OMG this is so nostalgic!, you will love the throwback to floppy disks!

Customer: Great, I will spend 8000 times the cost of a 25nm NAND SSD ind with just a few intermediate steps in between each song, I will be able to copy over my top 100 songs, and maybe even backup my old floppy disks!!

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