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Samsung To Mass Produce 14nm NAND in 2016

December 29, 2015 - Written By Daniel Fuller

Between chart-topping mobile processors, 18nm DRAM chips and tons of IoT ideas, Samsung’s innovation and tech pedigree arguably places them at the top of the heap in these areas. When it comes to new silicon, they’re almost always the first to mass production and first to market with new processes and designs. When nanometers matter in efficiency, power and design, Samsung has no issue keeping up and in most cases, keeping a wide lead. Today’s announcement is no exception. While everybody else is finishing up designs on flat NAND memory chips measuring an incredible 14nm, Samsung is already preparing to enter mass production on their own design.

Having broken what was said to be an unbreakable barrier, Samsung designed this new NAND chip for record-breaking read and write speeds, as well as energy efficiency. Errors in input/output should also be sharply reduced. Samsung is gearing up to show off the new chip at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco, taking place on January 31. The finished design is sure to garner some oohs and ahhs, as well as a few deals behind closed doors. Not long ago, rumors flew that Samsung would be supplying the NAND for the next generation of iPhone, presumably the iPhone 7. With this new 14nm flat NAND, not only is that a possibility, Samsung will be in a position to strike landmark deals with other OEMs as well. Being the first to market would give them all but total control over the mobile NAND market, aside from those who have long term deals with other manufacturers or make their own NAND chips.

Samsung plans to enter mass production some time in the first half of 2016. The closest competitor, Hynix, is set to finish up the design on their own 14nm flat NAND chip in 2016 and begin mass production before the end of the year, though no specific dates for either achievement were mentioned. It is, of course, entirely possible that Samsung achieves market dominance for the 14nm NAND segment by the time Hynix hits the market with their own chip. Over time, Samsung’s pattern of consistently leaving competitors in the dust may even begin to push mobile tech as a whole faster than it’s been in recent years.