Why 3D NAND is Stuck at 40nm

Top-Down look at a 3D NAND column with its concentric rings of materialsI recently was asked how much 3D NAND pitches had shrunk since the technology’s 2013 introduction.  Samsung made a big to-do about using 40nm back in 2015, but the company and its competitors don’t seem to have given an update since then.  Shouldn’t it have gone to smaller processes like 35nm, 25nm, 20nm, etc.?

The Memory Guy’s reply was that it’s nearly impossible Continue reading “Why 3D NAND is Stuck at 40nm”

The Invention of Charge Trap Memory – John Szedon

Cartoon of a 4-layer 3D NAND with word balloons speling out the different partsA significant transition has occurred over the past few years that many people don’t know about: Flash memory has moved almost wholesale from the floating gate bit cells, the process that they had always used before, to charge trap bit cells.

Until 2002 all flash used a floating gate.  That year partners AMD & Fujitsu, who later merged Continue reading “The Invention of Charge Trap Memory – John Szedon”

SK hynix Acquires Intel’s NAND Business

Art Nouveau silhouette of dancing coupleSK hynix and Intel today announced that SK hynix will acquire Intel’s NAND flash business for $9 billion.  SK hynix gets Intel’s business, its manufacturing plant with two fabs in Dalian, China, and all of Intel’s designs and intellectual property.  The Memory Guy thinks this is a pretty good deal all around.

Intel doesn’t do well in Continue reading “SK hynix Acquires Intel’s NAND Business”

CeRAM Moves Front and Center on the NV Memory Stage

Photo of Ron Neale, Renowned Phase-Change Memory ExpertIn this post contributor Ron Neale shares a close look at the new memory announced today by Arm spin-off Cerfe Labs.  He provides insight into the operation and composition of this technology which originated at Symetrix, a company that has previously developed FRAM technologies licensed to major semiconductor and capacitor manufacturers.

 


While many companies seek to offer a nonvolatile (NV) alternative to Flash, with varying degrees of success, something new called a correlated electron memory (CeRAM) has entered Continue reading “CeRAM Moves Front and Center on the NV Memory Stage”

Micron Earnings: Not So Bad After All

Micron LogoMicron Technology hosted its earnings call on September 29, and its outlook wasn’t as bad as formerly expected.

In August the company’s CFO warned that, although Micron’s fourth fiscal quarter (its current quarter, running from June – August) would come close to the guided figures, there was reason to Continue reading “Micron Earnings: Not So Bad After All”

IBM Put PCM at the Core of Hyperdimensional Computing (HDC)

Photo of Ron Neale, Renowned Phase-Change Memory ExpertOur PCM maven Ron Neale explored how PCM is being used to benefit Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) applications.  Although AI is a new spin to The Memory Guy blog, there is a striking similarity between memory chips and certain AI applications, most particularly Neural Networks.

In this post Ron delves into a recent piece of IBM research published in Nature Electronics, that uses Hyperdimensional Computing algorithms to Continue reading “IBM Put PCM at the Core of Hyperdimensional Computing (HDC)”

Did 3D XPoint Costs Reach Break-Even?

Dollar sign superimposed over a 3D XPoint Optane DIMMDuring Intel’s latest earnings announcement the company provided information to indicate that 3D XPoint, which Intel sells under the name “Optane”, may have finally reached break-even: It may no longer be selling at a loss.

How would The Memory Guy know?  Well, in fact, I don’t, but I can make an informed guess.

The chart below shows Continue reading “Did 3D XPoint Costs Reach Break-Even?”

Applied Materials Video Dramatizes 3D NAND Manufacture

Visualization of a column of ions etching a holeIn a little 3-minute video released this  week for the SEMICON West conference, Applied Materials dramatizes the 3D NAND manufacturing process by using hailstorms for atomic level deposition (ALD) and lightning bolts for etch, all while explaining that the wafer’s surface reaches temperatures hotter than the surface of the sun.

For those who already understand 3D NAND manufacture it’s an interesting Continue reading “Applied Materials Video Dramatizes 3D NAND Manufacture”

FRAM Turns 68

Photo of a memory chip next to a paper matchPerhaps the oldest nonvolatile semiconductor memory type is the ferroelectric memory, which recently celebrated its 68th birthday.  FRAM predates flash memory, EEPROM, and even UV-erasable EPROM.  It’s even older than mask ROM, which wasn’t invented until 1967!

As a matter of introduction to the technology, FRAM, or ferroelectric memory, is a read/write nonvolatile memory technology that performs significantly better than Continue reading “FRAM Turns 68”

SIA CEO’s Priceless Comment

SIA LogoIn a May 15 press release SIA president & CEO John Neuffer said something that definitely bears repeating.

His statement was the Semiconductor Industry Association’s response to new US Department of Commerce rule changes designed to stop: “Huawei’s efforts to undermine US export controls.”

Recall that the SIA is the Continue reading “SIA CEO’s Priceless Comment”