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Leading-edge 3D NAND Memory Comparison 2018

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SP18422 3D NAND Memories Comparaison 2018 flyer cover

A deep technology analysis and cost comparison report on cutting edge 3D NAND memory chips from Toshiba/SanDisk, Samsung, SK Hynix and Intel/Micron.

The ever-growing markets for consumer electronics and data centers are accelerating the demand for higher-capacity, reliable storage. This explains the impressive revenue growth in the memory industry from $77 billion to $177 billion between 2016 and 2018.

Manufacturers of flash memory that uses 3D NAND gates find it a challenge to meet this demand for higher storage capacity and reliability while lowering the cost per bit. Each manufacturer therefore implements different techniques. They change the storage type and memory cell design and stack more layers with each generation to increase bit density and reduce die sizes. The technological changes in the cell architecture and modification of the fundamental memory features add complexity to the manufacturing process. However these techniques do lower the cost per gigabyte.


SP18422 Toshiba SanDisk NAND Die


We present a technological and economical comparison of latest generation of 3D NAND flash memory available on the market today from four different manufacturers. These are the 64-layer designs from Toshiba/SanDisk, Samsung and Intel/Micron and the 72-layer 3D NAND by SK Hynix. We base our analysis on full teardowns of the packages and the 3D NAND dies to unveil the technology choices used by the manufacturers. We also identify the different participants in the supply chain. These two activities allow us to simulate the cost of the memory wafers and dies.

The report contains a detailed study of the latest NAND dies. The analysis also features a detailed study of die cross section and processes. The report details the physical analysis, highlighting the cell design and memory storage type. It matches the process description with the applicable patent. The report also includes the manufacturing cost analysis and estimation of the manufacturers gross margin.

Finally, it features an exhaustive comparison between the studied samples, highlighting the similarities and differences and their impact on cost.


  SP18422 Samsung NAND Cross Section SP18422 SK Hynix Dies SP18422 Intel Die Cross Section







Table of contents


> Executive Summary

> Reverse Costing Methodology

> Analysed Device Comparison  



Company Profile

> Toshiba/SanDisk/Samsung/SK Hynix/Intel/Micron



Oppo Find X – Teardown

> NAND Roadmap

> NAND Revenue 



Market Analysis

> Toshiba/SanDisk

-  Overview

- Die design

- Cross-section

- Patents

> Samsung

- Overview

- Die design

- Cross-section

- Patents




























































> SK Hynix

- Overview

- Die design

- Cross-section

- Patents

> Micron/Intel

- Overview

- Die design

- Cross-section

- Patents 



Manufacturing Process Flow

> Overview

> Wafer Fabrication Unit

> Front-End Process



Cost Analysis

> Summary of the Cost Analysis

> Yield Explanations and Hypotheses

> 3D NAND Wafer and Die Cost

- Wafer front-end cost

- Die cost

- Component cost



Estimated Price Analysis and Gross Margin Analysis


About the authors


System Plus Consulting specializes in the cost analysis of electronics, from semiconductor devices to electronic systems.

Created more than 20 years ago, System Plus Consulting has developed a complete range of services, costing tools and reports to deliver in-depth production cost studies and estimate the objective selling price of a product.

System Plus Consulting engineers are experts in:

  • Integrated Circuits 
  • Power Devices & Modules 
  • MEMS & Sensors
  • Photonics 
  • LED 
  • Imaging 
  • Display 
  • Packaging 
  • Electronic Boards & Systems.

Through hundreds of analyses performed each year, System Plus Consulting offers deep added-value reports to help its customers understand their production processes and determine production costs. Based on System Plus Consulting’s results, manufacturers are able to compare their production costs to those of competitors.

System Plus Consulting is a sister company of Yole Développement.

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  • Detailed optical and scanning electron microscope photos and cross-sections

  • Precise measurements

  • Material analysis

  • Manufacturing process flow

  • Supply chain evaluation

  • Manufacturing cost analysis

  • Comparison

  • Estimated sales price