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Samsung takes Google into third dimension of flashy storage

Flash-flood: Korean 3D flash-furtler melts heart of the Chocolate Factory

It's a 3D flash flood: Korean 3D flash-furtler Samsung has landed Google as a customer, according to the Korean Times.

The report says Google's data centres will use Sammy's 3D NAND, which the paper has previously reported will also be used in forthcoming MacBooks from Apple, and which we understand is also utilised by Amazon, and is currently used in Kaminario K2 all-flash arrays.

Neither Google nor Sammy commented in the report. If true it's further confirmation that, by stacking 32 layers of planar 2D NAND built using 39-30nm-class cell geometry in a die, Samsung has got itself a significant price/performance advantage over other flash fabricators.

Its 3D NAND is generally available while Intel/Micron and SanDisk/Toshiba's have just entered the sampling stage with GA late this year or in 2016. SanDisk/Toshiba is sampling a 48-layer chip, but we can expect Sammy to hit that level soon enough.

These supply deals with Amazon, Apple and Google – Facebook is also mentioned in passing by the report – mean that these hyper-scale data centre operators will be buying less planar NAND than otherwise from the other flash suppliers. That's bad news for them and may exacerbate existing problems for the weaker members of the flash fab foursome: Intel, Micron, SanDisk and Toshiba. ®

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