SanDisk has developed the world’s smallest 128 gigabit (Gb) NAND flash memory chip currently in production. The semiconductor device can store 128 billion individual bits of information on a single silicon die 170mm2 in size – a little more than a quarter of an inch squared, or smaller than the area covered by a U.S. penny.
SanDisk built the 128Gb NAND flash memory chip on 19 nanometer (nm) process technology. A nanometer measures one-billionth of a meter, meaning that 19nm circuit lines are so small that about 3,000 of them could fit across the width of a human hair. The chip also employs SanDisk’s three-bit per cell (X3) technology that allows the company to build NAND flash memory products with the ability to read and write three bits of information in each memory cell.
At 19nm, SanDisk is deploying its ninth generation of multi-level cell (MLC) NAND products and fifth generation of X3 technology.
The 128Gb NAND flash memory chip was developed jointly by teams from SanDisk and Toshiba at SanDisk’s Milpitas campus. The effort was led by Yan Li, director of Memory Design at SanDisk.
NAND flash memory is the technology behind the high reliability, small form factor storage solutions that SanDisk sells to OEM customers for use in a wide variety of products such as smartphones, tablets and Ultrabooks. It is also the technology used in products SanDisk sells through its retail channel in the form of imaging and mobile cards, USB drives and mp3 players.