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Hagen Schmidt at Flash Memory Summit 2013 in California

In August of this year, the Flash Memory Summit 2013 was held in Santa Clara, California. At this congress, specialists come together year after year to showcase and discuss their innovations and future technologies in the field of flash memory. Our colleague Hagen Schmidt, Manager Flash Media Automotive, was on site there this year.

The top companies of the IT industry such as Apple, Google, Facebook and Intel are all located around the venue; the so-called Silicon Valley. The program of the congress featured full-day tutorials, lectures, workshops and specialist meetings and the congress was supported by a two-day exhibition, at which new products, test and duplication systems, as well as services connected with all areas of flash storage media were presented.

The core business of CDA in the flash media solutions division is the duplication of data on SD cards for the automotive industry. These flash memory cells are fitted with a controller as well as NAND flash memory cells. Since the NAND flash medium is subject to enormous pressure on prices, the structural widths must now be reduced in ever-shorter time intervals in order to reduce costs. This is so-called shrinkage, where the structural width of a NAND flash memory cell is reduced in size. Currently, our products incorporate NAND flash memory cells with structural widths of 24nm to 19 nm. Flash memory producers are slowly reaching their limits with the current manufacturing processes because on the one hand, development costs are running to unimaginable amounts, and on the other hand, the endurance and performance values required can no longer be achieved with smaller structures. Currently, flash memory cells are laid out in a planar arrangement and leading flash memory manufacturers are working on the implementation of a new concept in the arrangement of flash memory cells. Samsung is currently the leader here and one of the highlights this year was the introduction by Samsung of the first 3D vertical NAND flash memory. In the course of a lecture, Samsung Electronics presented an SSD hard drive which was fitted with a 3D NAND flash memory. With this new technology, the arrangement is vertical rather than planar as previously. This manufacturing process promises a price benefits and an improvement in endurance and performance values.

If the promises are true, this technology will open up many new areas of application and existing problems caused by the shrinkage of flash memory cells will be again be a thing of the past.

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