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Samsung Electronics Monday introduced its new flash memory chip with unprecedented 16Gb density and said that as the market of mobile devices develops, demand for flash would grow dramatically. The company said it foresaw the so-called “flash rush” once non-volatile NAND flash replaces other storage technologies, especially from mobile devices.

“The future of NAND is setting the stage for an irreversible shift in the design of digital end products as NAND becomes the key storage medium for data in virtually any portable form,” Dr. Chang-Gyu Hwang, president and CEO of Samsung Electronics’ Semiconductor Business, said.

Samsung’s 16Gb flash product is a multi-level cell (MLC) NAND memory. The 16Gb NAND density was achieved with the industry first use of 50nm technology directly applicable to mass production processes and by using Samsung’s proprietary 3D-transistor architecture. The finer geometry substantially reduces the noise level between cells and enables continued migration of storage platforms, the company said, but declined to release any additional details concerning the product as well as mass production timeframe.

“NAND flash will eventually replace other storage mediums, especially those used in mobile products, creating a ‘Flash Rush’, as NAND continues to register an unprecedented surge in demand as the backbone of the mobile electronics era,” Dr. Hwang added.

Dr. Hwang predicted that the phenomenal speed at which the industry is shifting to NAND flash will trigger a ripple effect across the electronic industry that will result in increased portability, a wealth of new design choices and much more convergence in digital applications.

In 2002, when Samsung foretold the dramatic shift in storage mediums, market forecasts for NAND predicted a mere $1.7 billion in revenues this year, while global NAND flash memory revenues are actually expected to reach $9.4billion this year, more than a five-fold increase. Over the past four years, NAND flash market has witnessed a compounded growth rate of 70% annually. This year, it appears clear that NAND will surpass NOR as the most popular flash memory.

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