It wasn’t so long ago that 128MB seemed like a cavernous amount of space on a USB thumb drive, particularly for anyone used to the fatefully erratic quirks and dismal capacity of floppy disks, 64GB thumb drives are now commonplace though, and it looks as though they’re going to get even bigger. Toshiba has just announced that it’s shipping samples of its latest 32nm multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory chips, which can store 32Gb (4GB) on a single chip.
The company also says that 16Gb (2GB) chips based on the technology will also be sampling in Japan later on in July – Toshiba says that this capacity is “the current mainstream density.”
According to Toshiba, the new chips will be firstly targeted at USB thumb drives and memory cards, but will later appear in embedded products, such as mobile phones, too.
Toshiba claims that these will be the first 32nm NAND flash memory chips in the world, and also says that it’s currently “leading the industry in applying 43nm process technology to 32GB products.”
These 32GB devices feature a stack of eight 32Gb 43nm chips, so the introduction of Toshiba’s new 32nm chips could enable manufacturers to produce smaller devices with even larger capacities, and also bring down the price of such devices.
“As more mobile phones and mobile equipment provide support for video and movies,”
says Toshiba, “demand for larger density, small sized memory products is growing stronger. By leading the industry in transition to finer geometry, Toshiba aims to reinforce and extend its leadership in the NAND flash memory market.”
Mass production of the new 32Gb chips is scheduled for July, which Toshiba says is two months ahead of the original scheduled date. Are you excited by the prospect of getting more flash memory in your mobile phone? Let us know your thoughts in the forums