Samsung announces 32Gbit 40nm CTF NAND flash

CTF = Charge Trap Flash

Announced at the Hotel Shilla in Seoul yesterday (9/11). (CDFreaks Flash forum) (Samsung PR) (PDF downloadable from PosTech university)

128x in 7 years

1999: 256Mbit (190nm)
2000: 512Mbit (150nm)
2001: 1024Mbit (120nm) <- when Samsung had a tiny 4.6 percent market share as opposed to Intel’s 25.7 percent
2002: 2Gbit (90nm)
2003: 4Gbit (73nm)
2004: 8Gbit (63nm)
2005: 16Gbit (50nm)
2006: 32Gbit (40nm) <- commercialization announced on Sept. 11, 2006
2010: 256Gbit (20nm) <- estimated

Predicted to be scalable to 20nm, 256Gbit, and applicable to terabyte storage products for the first time by 2010. Samsung said this CTF development and commercialization woud enable the company to “add” a US$25 billion market for the next 10-year NAND flash market.

Samsung plans to mass produce these 32Gbit chips by 2008 and will also introduce 32GB MP3 players, 64GB memory cards, 128GB SSD drives, etc. Samsung wants to replace 1.8-inch HDD with their NAND-based SSD completely beginning in 2008.

The PDF linked above has some interesting information as well created by an engineer at Samsung’s memory division about one year ago.

64GB CF card

(11, Sep, 2006 / SEC)

SAMSUNG Announces First 40-nanometer Device – 32 Gb NAND Flash with Revolutionary Charge Trap Technology

Seoul,Korea - September 11, 2006: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced semiconductor technology solutions, today announced that it has developed the industry’s first 40-nanometer (nm) memory device. The new 32 Gigabit (Gb) NAND flash device is the first memory to incorporate a Charge Trap Flash (CTF) architecture, a revolutionary new approach to further increase manufacturing efficiency while greatly improving performance.

The new CTF-based NAND flash memory increases the reliability of the memory by sharply reducing inter-cell noise levels. Its surprisingly simple structure also enables higher scalability which will eventually improve manufacturing process technology from 40 nm to 30 and even 20nm.

In each 32Gb device, the control gate in the CTF is only 20 percent as large as a conventional control gate in a typical floating gate structure. With CTF, there is no floating gate. Instead, the data is temporarily placed in a “holding chamber” of the non-conductive layer of the flash memory composed of silicon nitride (SiN). This results in a higher level of reliability and better control of the storage current.

The 32Gb NAND flash memory can be used in memory cards with densities of up to 64-Gigabytes (GBs). One 64GB card can store over 64 hours of DVD resolution movies (40 movies) or 16,000 MP3 music files (1,340 hours).

The CTF design is enabled through the use of a TANOS structure comprised of tantalum (metal), aluminum oxide (high k material), nitride, oxide and silicon. The use of a TANOS structure marks the first application of a metal layer coupled with a high k material to the NAND device.

The TANOS CTF architecture, which serves as the foundation of the 40nm 32Gb CTF NAND flash announced today, was developed after extensive research of the Samsung Semiconductor R&D department. Samsung first revealed the TANOS structure through a paper at the 2003 International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM).
The new 32Gb CTF memory was announced at the sixth annual Samsung press conference in Seoul.

Introduction of a 40nm manufacturing process for 32Gb NAND flash marks the seventh generation of NAND flash that follows the New Memory Growth Theory of double-density growth every 12 months, which was first presented by Dr. Chang Gyu Hwang, president and CEO of Samsung Electronics’ Semiconductor Business in a keynote address at ISSCC 2002.

About Samsung Electronics
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2005 parent company sales of US$56.7 billion and net income of US$7.5 billion. Employing approximately 128,000 people in over 120 offices in 57 countries, the company consists of five main business units: Digital Appliance Business, Digital Media Business, LCD Business, Semiconductor Business and Telecommunication Network Business. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, memory chips, mobile phones, and TFT-LCDs.
For more information, please visit


/me rings the bell for the flash & HD heavy weights to start slogging it out …
of course … by 2010, HD’s will probably be 10x the capacity anyway :frowning:

10x in 4 years? Really? That means 10TB. That’s highly doubtful. Seagate hasn’t even introduced a 1TB HDD yet. Several years ago, I seriously expected 1TB HDD to come out by 2002. I had a 32MB CF card then. What most people have now are 300MB or 250MB HDD. One 750MB HDD costs a lot more than three 250GB HDDs combined. It’ll be much easier to “RAID” tens of TB flash drives because they take little space, little power.

TeeHee. Im not like most people. I constantly upgrade my storage. I currently have 400 GB of storage, and Im wanting to increase it. MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHA!!!

But cool news anywho. Find a PDA or a mini-PC that takes compact flash, and you could use it just like a computer as far as storage of movies, music, and other things goes!

Have you been thrown back to 1993?
I have a 200 GB HDD (which is quite small, but sufficient for my uses, I use lots of Verbies and Taiyos for archiving anyway).
Yes, smaller capacity HDDs can be rare… in those days, defective sectors were not yet disguised by the firmware, there was no defect management so defects were immediately visible.

I had a 120MB HDD in 1993. It was 13 years ago. However, it was relatively easier to increase density then. Seagate and others have just started migrating to perpendicular recording in order to continue increasing density just achieving 750GB for 3.5-inch form factor and 160GB for 2.5-inch form factor. For NAND flash, Samsung has developed “CTF” technology to reduce from 50nm to 40nm and further to 20nm.

Anyway, sorry for the typo. I meant 200GB and 300GB and 750GB. :disagree:

Samsung Announces 40nm, 32Gb NAND Flash Memory
Brandon Hill (Blog) - September 11, 2006 12:31 PM

I’ve come to expect 4x increase in capacity capacity every 3-4 years so I’d guess that we’ll have 2.5-8TB HD’s by 2010.


At that point in time, we’ll probably have 10-20MP cameras that’ll chew up a 32GB ( 2010: 256Gbit ) CF card like nothing else :wink:
On the other hand, we’ll be able to keep 3 full DVD’s, or 1 HD Movie on each card. Of course, it’ll be so expensive only the elite, or hardcore fanatics, will be able to afford it, so everyone will be encoding their HD movies back to (the future equivalent of) Divx anyway to fit onto their 4GB or 8GB cards which are affordable :iagree:

Why would any rich people or companies invest on technologies that only “the elite” or “hardcore fanatics” may buy? Forgot how Intel does business? :slight_smile: 8GB cards are already affordable. 2GB USB memory cards’ lowest price point about 5 months ago I could find on the web was US$70-$80. It’s now US$20 and further dropping. The initial speed just a few years ago was like less than 1MB/s. Samsung’s latest figures say over 50MB/s. If the same thing happened to HDD and ODD, we should have had by now 100TB HDD transferring data at 1GB/s sustained rate and 100TB 3-D optical disks per US$0.1.

256Gbit is a chip, not a card. A CF or SD or SSD these days typically consists of multiple xGbit chips. 1TB SSD will have 32 256Gbit chips, or 256 32Gbit chips or 2,048 4Gbit chips or 8,192 1Gbit chips. Anyway, flash for cameras and MP3 players are hardly new and there’s not much profit potential left in such market segments anymore where just some more years of linear (though still steep) growth is expected.

Why? Bragging rights. Can I just point out Multiple GPU video cards & SLI? No-one NEEDS this … but video companies have done it anyway, and only those with more money then sense, or hardcore gaming fanatics buy these.
Storage is a different ball game though, storage is a necessity.

I wouldn’t consider $600 exactly affordable, except by the hardcore, or elite (professional photographers/etc) but until battery technologies can keep up … hmmm :wink:

It’s just a typical product life …
Initial release is very expensive, while the manufacturer pays for R&D & initial manufactuering setup costs … the plateau where R&D has been practically covered and it’s just a matter of maintenance of production and the product spends most of it’s life - affordable for mainstream … obsolete/ end of production & clearing inventory for new products, everything is very cheap.

At any rate, I’m looking forward to some decent Compact flash memory sizes … I’m curious now whether Vista will be happy to run off an 8GB CF/etc.
Bah! I’m going linux anyway :stuck_out_tongue:

Linux, at least some of them, adopted DVD before Vista. But it takes a lot of (money) efforts to work with Samsung as it’s yet a very early development stage so only Microsoft and Intel and Samsung are probably jointly on it. Samsung already has some notebooks utilizing such technologies. It’s not exactly CF. The fastest CF on the market is just 8GB and not faster than 200x to 120x. Even 200x CF or USB today is just 32MB/s. The “CTF 40nm” flash chips announced here operate much faster than that and the “hybrid” drives combing NAND-based SSD and HDD must operate much more efficiently and safely than commercial CF and USB sticks. Such things today are mostly experiments only and only for hardware enthusiasts of the very early-adopting types but they are all after all targeting the very mass markets of many hundreds of millions of users. Without such a potential market base, the billions of investment will never be returned. High initial cost of R&D doesn’t always necessarily mean initial products for end-user consumers should cost too much for the average consumers. For companies like Intel and Samsung, they can afford to invest 10 billions or 20 billions or 100 billions even without having to recoup inside of 5 or 10 years. Most smaller players (like AMD and Hynix) can’t do that. How much has Intel invested into Itanium? Or Core Architecture? How much has Samsung invested into their LCD and PDP lines? Samsung and LG together right now are spending literally 20 billions or more into some of their latest LCD complexes at Paju, and other places. Look at any of the recent NAND flash, LCD, PDP, and Conroe products of the very latest technologies. They often cost LESS than those based on earlier technology generations at release time. Intel hasn’t made profits out of their Itanium lines even though Itanium has been in the development for more than 10 years. Intel will probably have invested into Itanium alone more than 50 billions by 2010. Your “$600” is vastly exaggerated. Nobody wants to sell flash for that much when more and more D-SLI cameras are now selling for just that much. SLI gaming cards are only for the “hard-core” gamers. I don’t ever consider them as serious consumer base of any kind. Intel surely doesn’t. SLI is a small niche market. What most consumers need and buy are simple on-chip integrated graphics.

For “bragging rights” things, Samsung will probably introduce some gold-covered flash cards specially marketing for the Arab and Brunei sultans and princes, but other than that, a 1TB flash doesn’t need to be priced at over US$100.