Samsung powers up output of fourth-generation flash memory
South Korean company looking to extend lead on rivals
KENICHI YAMADA, Nikkei staff writer
SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics said it plans to lift production of fourth-generation 3-D flash memory chips this year to more than half of its total NAND output -- an announcement that highlights the South Korean company's leg up on rivals at the field's cutting edge.
The 64-layer chip alone will account for more than half of the company's NAND output by year's end, the electronics maker said, thanks to volume production at its Pyeongtaek factory. The cutting-edge semiconductors will be also be manufactured in China. In 3-D chips, memory cells are stacked atop each other to increase capacity.
NAND chips store data in servers and smartphones. At present, 3-D chips, including third-generation ones, make up 50-60% of the company's total chip output. Fourth-generation chips are 50% faster than the 48-layer third generation and are about 30% more energy efficient.