Toshiba And SK Hynix Just Announced Big Jumps In Memory Technology

Toshiba’s TSV Technology

Toshiba has started using through-silicon via (TSV) technology as part of its 48-layer 3D flash process, with shipments of product samples scheduled for release in 2H 2017.

I discussed the benefits of the TSV process in a June 19, 2017 Seeking Alpha article entitled “Advanced Semiconductor Packaging Starting To Change Memory Market Landscape.”

Thus, TSV technology has allowed Toshiba to successfully increase product programming bandwidth with significantly lower power consumption. The power efficiency of the TSV device is approximately twice that of the same-generation BiCS flash memory fabricated with wire-bonding technology.

TSV BiCS flash also enables the company to manufacture a 1-terabyte (TB) device with a 16-die stacked architecture in a single package, which will be used primarily for high capacity SSDs used in servers.

There has been speculation that Toshiba’s financial problems and attempted sale of its memory division could disrupt supply, thereby increasing ASPs for NAND. With this announcement, it is apparent that Toshiba is continuing technology advancement for its 3D-NAND business. This advanced manufacturing technology will serve to bolster Toshiba’s valuation to prospective purchasers, a consortium led by US-based private equity fund Bain Capital and Japanese state-run financial institutions.

SK Hynix and IoT

SK Hynix just signed a two-year NVM IP cooperation contract with privately held eMemory. Why is this important? Taiwan-based eMemory will provide technology support to SK Hynix to develop its wafer foundry business at its wholly-owned foundry subsidiary SK Hynix System IC. But the key takeaway here is that the contract will strengthen SK’s capacity for system-on-chips (SoC) ICs, enhancing its foundry services for fabless IC design houses, to incorporate embedded memory into SoCs for IoT (and other) applications.

eMemory’s eNVM IP products have been adopted by a number of foundry houses, including…

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