Samsung announced that it commenced the industry’s first volume production of 3-bit, multi-level-cell NAND flash chips using 30-nm-class process technology at the end of November.

The chips will be used in NAND flash modules accompanied by Samsung 3-bit NAND controllers to initially produce 8 GB microSD cards.

According to Samsung, three-bit MLC NAND increases the efficiency of NAND data storage by 50 percent over today’s pervasive 2-bit MLC NAND chips and provides consumers with effective NAND-based storage that can be applied to USB flash drives in addition to a range of micro SD cards.

The company claims mass production of 30nm 3-bit NAND will significantly raise the portion of NAND flash memory production devoted to high densities (32Gb and above), designed to accommodate increased video usage.

Samsung also announced other NAND advancements – the industry’s first mass production of its 30-nm-class, 32 Gb, MLC NAND memory with an asynchronous DDR interface.

The company said it began shipping initial production of its DDR NAND to major OEMs at the end of November.

DDR NAND is expected to raise the read performance of mobile devices requiring high-speeds and large amounts of storage space. Samsung’s new DDR MLC NAND chip, which reads at 133 Mbps would replace single data rate MLC NAND, which has an overall read performance of 40Mbps.

Use of 30nm-class DDR NAND enables premium memory cards to register 60Mbps read speeds, at least a 300 percent performance gain compared to SDR NAND-based memory cards with an average 17Mbps read speed.

According to market research firm Gartner Dataquest, the global NAND flash memory market is forecast to be worth US$13.8 billion in 2009 and reach US$23.6 billion by 2012.

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