Samsung Electronics has begun mass production of a 16 Gbyte NAND flash memory chip that would be used in digital music players, music phones, and digital cameras.
Samsung, which is making the chips using a 51-nanometer manufacturing process, said it is the first to mass-produce what it claims is the "highest capacity memory chip now available."
"In rolling out the densest NAND flash in the world, we are throwing open the gates to a much wider playing field for flash-driven consumer electronics," Jim Elliott, director of flash marketing for Samsung Semiconductor, said in a statement issued Sunday.
Samsung said its 51-nanometer production process can make NAND flash chips 60% more efficiently than the typical 60-nanometer process used in the industry. In addition, the new production process accelerates the read-write speeds by about 80% over current data processing speeds for comparable chip designs.
Samsung plans to integrate the chip with a suite of Flash software and firmware for storage devices for music phones and MP3 players. As the demand for video content grows, Samsung expects to promote the chip for storage in mid- to high-range digital cameras. The company expects the high-capacity chip to enter the mainstream market beginning late this year.
The latest product follows by about eight months Samsung's launch of production of a 60-nanometer 8-Gbyte NAND flash memory chip.
Samsung has been pushing the envelope in flash technology. In March, the company introduced a 64 Gbyte solid-state flash drive for ultra-portable notebooks. The South Korean company unveiled the 1.8-inch drive at its annual Mobile Solution Forum in Taipei, Taiwan, and said it planned to start mass production in the second quarter.