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SK hynix SK hynix Developed Industry’s Highest 72-Layer 3D NAND Flash


- Industry’s first 72-layer 256Gb 3D NAND flash developed by its own technology
- 30% production improvement compared with currently mass-produced 48-layer 3D NAND flash
- Will reinforce competitiveness of 72-layer 3D NAND-based mobile and SSD solutions 

SK hynix (CEO: Park Seon-Wook, had succeeded in developing the industry’s first 72-layer 256Gb Triple Level Cell (TLC) 3D NAND flash.  

By overcoming the process problem resulted from the layer increase, this product developed by SK hynix’s own technology can store 1.5 times more cells than currently mass-produced 48-layer 3D NAND flash.

A 32Gb storage device can be made using one chip of 256Gb NAND.   

SK hynix had begun to provide 36-layer 128Gb 3D NAND in the second quarter of 2016, started mass production of 48-layer 256Gb 3D NAND in November 2016, and finally succeeded in developing 72-layer 256Gb 3D NAND flash. Through this success, the company was able to secure the industry’s most advanced quality competitiveness in the 3D NAND flash market.

The technology of this 72-layer 256Gb 3D NAND flash is as difficult as stacking four billion 72-story buildings on an area that is the size of a dime.    

In particular, it can stack 1.5 times more cells than existing chips and has 30% more manufacturing productivity than the current 48-layer chip by making the full use of utilizing existing mass production facilities.  

Also, by applying high speed circuit design inside the chip, it doubled the operating speed and improved the reading and writing speed by 20%.  

SK hynix is in the process of developing technology that can make this product (20% improved performance and 30% more manufacturing productivity) be applied to Solid State Drive (SSD) and NAND flash solutions for mobile terminals such as smartphones. 

It is expected that the company will be able to reinforce its 3D NAND-based solution business competitiveness as it is possible to realize high performance, high-trust, and low-power chip.  

Kim Jong-Ho, President of SK hynix’s Marketing Division, said, “We are able to provide customers with optimized storage solutions through the completion of 3D NAND flash development with industry’s highest productivity and by beginning mass production from the second half of 2017. We will actively transform our business structure, which is weighted toward DRAM, by expanding its territory into a mobile market such as SSD and smartphones.”   

It is expected that  the demand for 3D NAND will increase explosively in the era of the fourth industrial revolution, which will be led by AI, big data, and cloud.   

According to a market research and advisory firm Gartner, the market size of the whole NAND flash will reach to USD 46.5 billion and drastically grow to USD 56.5 billion by the year 2021.


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