updated 11:25 pm EDT, Wed April 20, 2011
Toshiba 19nm memory to make 128GB phones, tablets
Toshiba late Wednesday revealed its first example of 19 nanometer NAND flash memory in a step that could lead to very high capacity smartphone and tablet storage. The two-bit-per-cell, 8GB per chip technology is the smallest ever and could double the capacity of mobile devices even before most have been using the previous upgrade. The extra-small size lets Toshiba stack 16 chips in a single package, leading to a single 128GB chip with twice as much storage as the previous best.
The advancement is slightly faster as well through Toggle DDR2.0 memory support that helps shuttle data. It can support three-bit-per-cell in the future to increase in density yet again, Toshiba said.
Despite being brand new, the 19nm flash is already being handed out to companies in test samples and should be in large-scale production during the summer. Customers haven't been named but could include both Toshiba itself, which uses flash in solid-state drives and tablets, as well as Apple, which is rumored to start iPhone 5 production at around the same time. Apple regularly sources Toshiba for some, though not all, of its mobile device flash chips, and is likely looking to double the capacity of the iPhone and possibly the iPod touch.
A 128GB smartphone or tablet isn't likely in the immediate future given the high price, but it could make for smaller and possibly cheaper 64GB storage. No currently shipping phone has more than 32GB built-in or included through a microSDHC card.