Samsung paves way to flash chips with 16 GB capacity

Seoul (Korea) - Flash memory continues to expand its memory capacity on a fast pace. Samsung said that it has developed a way to mass-produce a multi-chip flash package that could soon bring compact 16 GB devices for a variety of portable products, including MP3 players and cellphones.

The firm's new multi chip package (MCP) technology can stack 16 individual chips and create, when used with Samsung's currently most advanced chip with 8 Gb capacity, up to 16 GB of storage space - which is about twice what is available in today's compact stacked flash chips.

Illustration of the new chip package

Samsung said that a newly developed production process enabled the company to reduce the thickness of its flash wafers to 30 microns, down 35% from about 46 microns of the wafers used by Samsung for current 10-chip packages. 30 microns is about the size of a human cell, which typically measures 20 to 30 microns.

Samsung said that a 16-chip stack has a height of about 1.4 mm, compared to 1.6 mm of a 10-chip version. A reduction of the height of the adhesive layer from 60 microns to 20 microns contributed to achieving a lower overall chip height.

The company did not say when the new chip technology will move into its commercial flash products.