Samsung unveils OneNand chip

Samsung Electronics will increase its stake in the mobile memory market with multichip packaging technology, as well as a new...

Samsung Electronics will increase its stake in the mobile memory market with multichip packaging technology, as well as a new chip design known as OneNand.

With the PC market nearing saturation, mobile devices such as smart phones are considered the next big growth segment of the semiconductor market. These devices will require increasing amounts of memory to download content and execute multimedia applications, said Ivan Greenberg, director of strategic marketing at Samsung.

One way phone designers can use more memory while keeping their phones small is to use multichip packages that bundle a number of different memory types into a single chip. Samsung worked on several types of chip packages, and the company will exhibit some of the chips at CTIA.

Samsung is one of the world's largest vendors of both DRam (dynamic RAM) for PCs and flash memory for mobile phones and personal digital assistants. There are two main types of flash memory, Nor and Nand, and Samsung manufactures both. The names refer to the logic design that each architecture uses to read and write data.

Most mobile phones have, traditionally, used Nor memory, which reads data very quickly, but it is not as efficient at storing data as Nand memory and costs more.

Designers need to consider implementing a combination of Nand and DRam as a memory architecture in future phones, Greenberg said. The company's new OneNand product with an integrated flash memory controller will help make that transition easier, he claimed.

Camera phones on the market today are fairly rudimentary compared with a regular digital camera, but phone manufacturers are planning phones that can take four-megapixel pictures, Greenberg said.

A user would have to wait 25 to 50 seconds to store a four megapixel picture on a phone with Nor memory, but Nand memory can store that image much faster, Greenberg said. Once digital video becomes prevalent, the difference will be even more pronounced, he added.

Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service

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