Just moments ago we received word from Samsung regarding the state of 3D V-NAND. The press release (below) states that the exciting new NAND flash is now in mass production.
Before we get to the press release we want to point out the size of the wafer used. We believe this is a 450mm wafer, 150mm larger that any wafer I've ever held or seen. The move from 200mm to 300mm wafers took place in 2000 and reduced the cost of each die by 30 to 40%. Lithographer Chris Mack claimed in 2012 that the overall price per die for 450 mm wafers would be reduced by only 10-20% compared to 300 mm wafers, because presently over 50% of total wafer processing costs are lithography-related.
We just spoke with Samsung and learned 3D V-NAND is on 300mm wafers.
XI'AN, China - May 9, 2014 - Samsung Electronics, Co., Ltd., a global leader in memory semiconductor technology, today announced that its memory fabrication line in Xi'an China has begun full-scale manufacturing operations. The new facility will manufacture Samsung's advanced NAND flash memory chips: 3D V-NAND.
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman and CEO Dr. Oh-Hyun Kwon hosted a plant inauguration event, which welcomed a large number of attendees including government dignitaries such as Zhao Zhengyong, Secretary of Communist Party of China Committee of Shaanxi province, Lou Qinjian, Governor of Shaanxi province, and Young-se Kwon, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the People's Republic of China. Other honored attendees included Samsung suppliers and customers.
Construction of the new manufacturing facility took only 20 months since Samsung broke ground here in September, 2012. The total area of the facility is approximately 230,000 square meters, situated on 1.14 million square meters of land.
In remarks delivered during the ceremony, Dr. Kwon said, "The city of Xi'an was the starting point of the Silk Road, which had performed a key role in bridging cultures from the East and the West. We expect that our new facility in Xi'an - the fruit of close cooperation with China, will mark the crowning of a 21st century Silk Road."
Shaanxi province governor Lou Qinjian congratulated Samsung at the event, noting that the new Xi'an fab highlights the special partnership and efficient cooperation between China and Korea, as he also promised the province's ongoing support.
By commencing operations of its Xi'an fabrication line, Samsung has secured a solid memory production base in China, a market where approximately 50 percent of global NAND flash is generated from production bases operated by many IT companies here. It is also laying the foundation for a more stable supply of memory products to its customers.
Samsung plans to complete construction of its entire Xi'an complex, which includes an assembly facility and test line, by the end of this year.
About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Is a global leader in technology, opening new possibilities for people everywhere. Through relentless innovation and discovery, we are transforming the world's of TVs, smartphones, tablets, PCs, cameras, home appliances, printers, LTE systems, medical devices, semiconductors and LED solutions. We employ 286,000 people across 80 countries with annual sales of U.S. $216.7 billion. To discover more, please visit http://www.samsung.com.