Samsung starts mass-producing 400Mbps NAND flash chips

August 2, 2012
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One of the main issue I have with mobile devices is that they have very slow storage. It’s typically under 10 MB/s read speed for most devices, and even the best of the best flagships only get to around 20 MB/s read speed, and about half of that as write  speed. Even the Nexus 7 barely goes over the 10 MB/s mark, but since it’s a very affordable product, it can be forgiven.

This is why I hope we get to see Samsung’s latest Pro Class 1500 20 nm NAND flash chips in Android devices as soon as possible. The new chips promise read speeds of 140 MB/s and write speeds of 50 MB/s, which should make interacting with your phone’s file system and accessing data from it like photos, videos or other files extremely fast.

You’ll also be able to transfer files from and to your computer a lot faster. But this is why I’m hoping USB 3.0 support will also be introduced in new devices, because USB 2.0 can’t handle these kind of speeds – 20-30 MB/s is usually where it tops out. Samsung managed to bring out these kind of speeds for their NAND flash chips by using a lot of technology tricks, like switching to a next-gen 20nm process, using toggle DDR 2.0 memory with a transfer rate of 400 Mbps, and the new JEDEC memory standard. The chips will be available as 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB, and presumably other manufacturers will be able to buy them right away.

The speed of the storage can have an impact on the device’s overall performance, so it’s important we have chips that, at least, are not the performance bottleneck on our devices. I know that if Samsung is one of the makers of future Nexus devices, I’d definitely like to see these NAND flash chips in them.