Tuesday Samsung announced that it had begun mass-producing the industry’s first 3-bit-per-cell, 64 Gb (8 GB) MLC NAND flash chip using 20-nm-class processing. The news follows Samsung’s introduction of 32 Gb (4 GB) 3-bit NAND flash using 30-nm-class processing last November, and the company’s 32 Gb MLC NAND using 20-nm-class processing unleashed in April.
Samsung’s product development keeps arriving faster and harder each revision of the product cycle. And competition is not slowing down. There are at least two other big flash memory manufacturers who are moving into the ~20nm-class of flash memory too. So three big manufacturers all manufacturing roughly the same ‘feature size’ and Apple sucking up all the supply. If it’s possible for an oversupply to occur it won’t be until next year I am sure and then hopefully prices will start to fall somewhat for the SSD market. Also add to this the Apple style packaging of multiple 64Gbit chips sandwiched one on top of the other to keep everything tidying in one small footprint and you have got ultra dense chips going into products now. In the iPhone and iPad they can layer up to 8 or 16 of those chips into one physical package to save room. This means we could see iPhones hitting 64Gbytes of storage and the iPad could reach 128Gbytes. It will truly be a new day once both of these devices hit these levels of storage. Consider my Mac mini from 2008. It has a spinning hard drive that is only 80Gbytes total. That my friends is a revolution in the making.