Flash just keeps on getting bigger (and smaller). Samsung has announced the mass production of their new 16GB NAND flash memory chips under a 51nm process. According to the company, the new 51nm chips aside from greater storage capacity offer faster write/read speeds of 8MB/s and 30MB/s over the 4.4MB/s and 17MB/s speeds of the more traditional 60nm chips. Samsung attributes this 60% boost in performance to their new page design:
NAND flash memory reads and writes data in units called pages. The 60nm NAND flash memory is designed with a 2 KiloByte (KB) page size, but the 51nm 16Gb version can process data in 4 KB pages, nearly doubling the data rate. The product also maintains the same 4 bit error-correcting code (ECC) capability as that of 60nm NAND, allowing customers to use existing system interfaces with only minor firmware upgrades. With its 4 bit ECC, Samsung eliminates the need to secure a better ECC capability to assure sufficient reliability, which would have required new costly controllers.
Samsung seems to have high hopes for flash in the future as they mention global sales through 2010 are estimated to escalate up to $21 billion.