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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Samsung starts 20nm DRAM and NAND flash memory production

Samsung has launched a new $10 billion mass production line of 20nm flash memory chips. This is reportedly the first time Samsung has opened up a new memory production line in the past five years. The new line, the company’s 16th such facility, is also its largest memory production facility till date, and Samsung calls it the industry’s most advanced memory fabrication unit.

Analysts feel the resultant flood of new, cheaper 20nm NAND flash and DRAM chips could sharply drop prices, as well as possibly choke out most smaller manufacturers. Samsung, currently the largest manufacturer of DRAM and NAND flash memory in the world, is also currently locked in a patent war with Apple, the largest buyer of flash memory in the world. If the tussle results in Apple stopping its Samsung memory purchases, the Korean giant will have to look to other major buyers to sell their chips.

Samsung’s competitors are still a long way off from production of the cheaper, 20nm flash memory chips, with Hynix Semiconductor and Elipida Memory, number two and three in the world – only starting lines next year. Samsung in the meanwhile has announced it intends to start 10nm NAND flash memory production by next year.

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