Samsung's 64GB Chip Means Serious Storage for iPhones and PMPs

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Samsung's new 64GB flash NAND and 32GB microSD card may be the first of each to market, bringing lots more storage space to phones like the iPhone, Droid and Nexus One as well as other handheld devices. Big win!

We don't have specific information on either of the products (no pricing, availability, or speed) but we do know that mass production on the 32GB microSD card should start next month, which means with any luck we'll start seeing them in the first half of this year. The 64GB NAND (moviNAND, technically) has been in production since December 2009, so it should hit even a little sooner.

What does this mean? 64GB iPhones (Apple uses Samsung NAND for the iPhone, so this chip could well show up in an iPhone). 32GB cards for the Droid and Nexus One. We knew this stuff was coming (just as we know those numbers will double again in another year or two) but, well, now they're here! Press release below. [Samsung]

SEOUL, Korea - January 13, 2009 - Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced semiconductor technology solutions, today announced two high-density memory solutions for mobile devices. The new storage solutions – a 64-gigabyte (GB) moviNANDTM memory device and a 32GB micro secure digital (microSD) memory card – satisfy mobile handset designers' requirements for advanced compact high-density memory.

"Samsung's high-density memory solutions bring the storage capacity levels of computing systems to small, mobile devices," said Dong-Soo Jun, executive vice president, memory marketing, Samsung Electronics.

He added, "The 64GB embedded memory, moviNAND, and the 32GB microSD card each greatly expand the data storage density of mobile devices, meeting customers' memory requirements and ushering in a new era of mobile and IT device capacity growth."

The memory solutions are based on Samsung's advanced 32 gigabit (Gb) NAND flash. The 64GB moviNAND, which measures 1.4mm in height, consists of 16 30nm-class 32Gb MLC NAND chips and a controller. The 17-die stack was achieved by using 30-micron thick chips and advanced package technology. With the new 64GB solution, Samsung's proprietary embedded memory, moviNAND, is now available in 64GB, 32GB, 16GB, 8GB and 4GB densities.

The 32GB microSD card, developed this month, stacks eight 32Gb NAND components and a card controller. The industry's highest capacity, production-ready microSD card is enabled by the use of Samsung's advanced 30-nm class 32Gb NAND flash memory technology. Previously, the highest density microSD card in production had a 16GB capacity and was based on 40nm-class 16Gb NAND. The new 32GB card is 1mm-thick. The portion of the card that is inserted into a handset measures just 0.7 mm in height.

According to market research firm iSuppli, the global NAND flash memory market for 32GB and higher memory cards is forecast to be 530 million units in 2010 and reach 9.5 billion units by 2013 (in 16Gb equivalent units).

Samsung's new 64GB moviNAND has been in mass production from December 2009, while the 32GB microSD is now being sampled with OEMs, with mass production expected next month.