The world’s second largest memory chip maker today said that it has developed a 72-layer 3d NAND flash memory chips in what the chip maker said is the world ‘s first ever.
The 72-layer NAND chip is built with a TCL, or triple cell level cell structure, which can store 3 bits of data per cell.
Mass-production will start in the second half of 2017
The rollout leaves Samsung Electronics just one generation behind SK Hynix in the development race for a next generation of 3D NAND flash memory chip. Samsung is now producing 64-layer 3D NAND flash memory chips.
Stacking cells as high as 74 layers, SK Hynix cram 1.5 times more cells into a single piece of silicon wafer than its current 48-layer 3D NAND flash memory chip, allowing it to get a 30% higher productivity.
The productivity gain can translate into more profitability, or cost-cuts, enabling the chip maker to undercut rivals like Samsung on costs. That productivity gain also will open the ways for displacing HDDs in high volume in the server and PCs market.
Compared with the 48-layer counterpart, the 72-layer NAND flash memory chip also boasts of a 20% in the data read and write speed.
SK Hynix was always racing one generation behind Samsung in introducing a new generation of 3D NAND flash memory chips. The chip maker started volume production of 48-layer 3D NAND flash memory chips in November, while Samsung is now producing 64-layer 3D NAND flash memory chips.
Demand for 3D NAND flash memory chips are skyrocketing, as such data-guzzling applications as IoT, AI, and Big Data Analytics, social media networks and apps are demanding more and more data storage spaces across a whole bunch of computing devices from smart phones to notebooks to PCs to servers and cloud computing.
According to market research firm Gartner, NAND flash memory chip market is expected to surge up to US$ 46.5billion in the year, and grow up to US$56.5 billion by 2021.