This is likely to have given SK Hynix the lead in terms of the number of layers in 3D-NAND but in terms of memory capacity. Micron Technology Inc. is shipping 32-layer 3D-NAND with a view to going to a 64-layer, 256Gbit memory by the end of 2017, while Toshiba has started sampling 64-layer 3D-NAND with a 512Gbit memory capacity. Samsung discussed a 64-layer TLC V-NAND in August 2016 with capacity of 512Gbit.
The company claims this is most layers in a 3D-NAND flash memory. The memory is based on triple-level cell arrays suggesting a smaller die and/or relaxed geometries from previous generations of 3D NAND which also had a capacity of 256Gbit.
SK Hynix launched 36-layer 128Gbit 3D NAND chips in April 2016, and has been mass producing 48-layer 256Gbit 3D NAND chips since November 2016. The company claims that its latest 3D-NAND flash memory achieves a read/write performance that is 20 percent higher than its 48-layer 3D-NAND chip.
"With the introduction of this industry's highest productivity 3D NAND, SK Hynix will mass produce the 256Gbit 3D-NAND in the second half of this year to provide this to worldwide business clients for optimum use in storage solutions," said SK Hynix vice president Jong Ho Kim. “The company plans to expand the usage of the product to SSDs and mobile gadgets such as smart phones to further improve its business structure weighted towards DRAM” he added.
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