SanDisk ( says it will begin mass-production
of the world’s first high performance 4-bits-per-cell (X4) flash
memory. Using 43-nanometer (nm) process technology, this enables
64-gigabit (GB) memory in a single die — the highest capacity in the
industry, the company says.

SanDisk has also produced a X4 controller, which is necessary to
effectively manage the complexities and performance requirements of
X4 memory. The X4 memory chip combines with the X4 controller chip in
a multi-chip package (MCP) to provide a complete, integrated and
low-cost storage solution, according to Khandker Quader, senior vice
president, memory technology & product development, SanDisk.

SanDisk co-developed the 64Gb X4 flash memory chip on 43nm technology
with Toshiba, which cooperates with SanDisk in the development and
manufacturing of advanced flash memory. The new 43nm 64Gb X4 chip is
the highest capacity and highest density flash memory die in the
world to enter production this year, boasting a 7.8MB/second memory
write performance that’s comparable with current multi-level cell
technologies, Quader says. SanDisk’s patented All-Bit-Line (ABL)
architecture as well as the newly introduced three-step programming
(TSP) and sequential sense concept (SSC) serve as key enablers to
X4’s impressive performance, he adds.

SanDisk has also announced the co-development of multi-level cell
(MLC) NAND flash memory using 32-nanometer (nm) process technology to
produce a 32-GB, 3-bits-per-cell (X3) memory chip. Production for the
32nm 32Gb X3 is expected to begin in the second half of 2009.

The breakthrough introduction is expected to quickly bring to market
advanced technologies that will enable greater capacities and reduce
manufacturing costs for products ranging from memory cards to Solid
State Drives (SSD), according to Sanjay Mehrotra, co-founder and
president, SanDisk.

The 32Gb X3 on 32nm technology is the smallest NAND flash memory die
reported so far, able to fit into the fingernail-sized microSD memory
card format. The 32nm 32Gb X3 is the highest density microSD memory
die in the world, providing twice the capacity of a microSD chip on
43nm while still maintaining a similar die area, says Mehrotra.