August 30, 2001 in Social Responsibility News

SAMSUNG Electronics Unveils 1-Gigabit NAND Flash Memory

SEOUL, Korea August 30, 2001 Samsung Electronics has announced that it is shipping engineering samples of the world's first 1-Gigabit NAND flash memory chip, which is fabricated with 0.12-micron technology. The device is offered in a single chip as well as a dual-die package, The dual-die package doubles the capacity to 2-Gigabits. The new device boasts the world's smallest cell size that breaks the 0.1-cubic micron barrier a record-setting achievement in the industry's scaling technology.

The application of 0.12-micron technology takes the NAND flash memory a step ahead in shrink technology compared to the DRAMs that are available at 0.15-micron with the latest technology. In addition, under the same process the new device realizes a more compact structure resulting in a smaller cell size. Thus, production cost structure per bit is reduced drastically. And the new device utilizes existing manufacturing lines contributing to cost competitiveness. Samsung Electronics looks forward to elevate its memory business through its high-value-added Flash memory business.

The semiconductor industry is preparing for the demand of next generation memory devices that feature non-volatility and low production costs. Technology leaders have introduced concept designs such as PFRAM (Polymer Ferroelectric RAM), OUM (Ovonics Unified Memory) and MRAM (Magnetic RAM). But due to substantial technical barriers, commercialization is a new burden to overcome. Samsung's 0.12-micron 1-Gigabit NAND flash memory, in fact, outperforms these experimental technologies in terms of high-density, non-volatility and sufficient market availability.

The new device is expected to satisfy a variety of applications:
* PC operating system:
The Windows NT can be operated with a single 1-Gigabit NAND Flash memory.
* Mobile handset:
The compact handset has been restricted to a limited utilization of operating software due to the low-density memory availability. The new device that provides up to a maximum 2 Gigabits resolves such demands.
Moreover 3G mobile handsets can benefit from the high 'Write' speeds of the new device. Compared to the NOR type flash memory no additional buffer memory is required to store and reproduce moving picture images. Samsung plans to develop a super low power consumption 1.8-volt device by year's end. The low-voltage device will resolve end-user's demand for longer battery lifetime for 3G handsets.

* Personal Digital Assistants:
For PDA's, it will also greatly enhance battery lifetime compared to the low-cost commodity DRAM. The non-volatile memory can preserve data over 10 years without additional power back up.
* MP3 player / Digital camera:
An original application of the NAND flash memory will enjoy more memory capacity as the 2-Gigabit device is capable of storing up to 4 hours of audio files and 2 hours moving picture images on the MPEG 4 standard.

The new 1-Gigabit NAND flash memory with 0.12-micron design technology has an expanded page program of 2 kilobytes (instead of the standard 512 bytes), while the block erase is 128 kilobytes (as opposed to the standard 16 kilobytes), providing much improved write performance. A write-cache function has been added when continuous page programming is performed and the latency when programming the second page has been resolved. As a result, the overall program speed (data rate per byte) is enhanced by 70%.

Samsung expects to take the lead in competition by the introduction of its 0.12-micron 1-Gigabit NAND flash memory. The initial 1-Gigabit device is a 3.3-volt (8bit I/O) version, and the company aims to release 1.8-volt and 3.3-volt (16bit I/O) devices in the fourth quarter of this year. Mass production is scheduled to begin in early 2002. Moreover, the 0.12-micron technology will be introduced to the full product line up of NAND flash memories from 128-Mbit to 512-Mbit capacities, improving the company's cost-competitiveness.

Market watcher Semico Research forecasts the flash memory market to rebound in the fourth quarter. And an average growth rate of 50% a year will result in a US$8.3 billion market by 2004.

World NAND Flash Memory Market Outlook (June '01)
'00'01'02'03'04CAGRTotal flash memory used for storageUS$1.6 billionUS$1.15 billionUS$2.74 billionUS$4.38 billionUS$8.25 billion50.7%

Source: Semico Research, June '01

About Samsung Electronics
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductors, the consumer electronics industry, and digital convergence technology. Samsung employs approximately 66,000 people in 46 countries. The company is the world's largest producer of memory chips, TFT-LCDs, CDMA mobile phones and monitors and the sixth-largest manufacturer of mobile phones. Samsung Electronics consists of four main business units: Digital Media, Semiconductor, Information & Communications, and Home Appliance Businesses. For more information, please visit the web site, http://samsungelectronics.com


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