LONDON—Disk drive vendor Western Digital Corp. has claimed that it – with Toshiba Corp. – has developed the world's first 64-layer 3D NAND memory and that it is in pilot production at joint-venture production facilities at Yokkaichi, Japan.
The memory is based on so-called BiCS3 technology developed by Toshiba with BiCS standing for bit cost scalable. The technology comes to Western Digital by way of its acquisition of SanDisk Corp. in May 2016. SanDisk was Toshiba's customer and partner in NAND flash memory (see China-backed Western Digital swoops on SanDisk ).
BiCS3 will be initially deployed in 256Gbit capacity ICs and will be available in a range of capacities up to half a terabit on a single chip, Western Digital said It said it expects volume shipments of BiCS3 for the retail market in the fourth quarter of 2016 and to begin OEM sampling this quarter. Shipments of the company's previous generation 3D NAND technology, BiCS2, continue to customers in retail and OEM.
“BiCS3 will feature the use of 3-bits-per-cell technology along with advances in high aspect ratio semiconductor processing to deliver higher capacity, superior performance and reliability at an attractive cost,” said Siva Sivaram, executive vice president, memory technology, Western Digital, in a statement.
On July 15 Toshiba and Western Digital opened the New Fab 2 semiconductor fabrication facility at Yokkaichi.
The building was partially completed in October 2015 with the first-phase of production starting in March 2016. The parties intend to further invest to expand production capacity over time, depending on market conditions.
Article originally appeared on EE Times Europe.