Just a couple weeks ago, Samsung announced it is sampling 16 Gb NAND memory and will start mass production during the first quarter of 2007; today; the world’s second largest Flash manufacturer, Toshiba, jumped on board, saying it will also be offering 8 and 16 Gb NAND memory to customers just a month later.
Toshiba’s 16 Gb modules were developed in conjunction with partner SanDisk, and utilize a 56-nanometer process—that’s not quite as dense as the 50-nanometer process used by Samsung’s parts, but may offer Toshiba a cost advantage, as least in the short term, if it’s able to turn out its memory at lower prices than its rival. Toshiba aims to control 40 percent of the NAND flash memory market by 2008.
The higher capacity 8 and 16 Gb modules are seen as crucial to the development of more sophisticated portable electronics products like digital cameras, portable media players, and camcorders, as well as to hybrid hard disk drives which combine Flash-based storage with traditional disk based media. The 8 Gb and 16 Gb modules offer total memory capacities of 1 and 2 GB respectively (Gb = gigabits, while GB = gigabytes; there are 8 bits to a byte), effectively enabling manufacturers to double the storage capacities of existing devices without significant increases in size or power consumption.