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NAND Technology in Automotive Manufacturing

NAND is a form of flash-based memory that is commonly seen in solid-state hard drives and memory cards for digital cameras or other devices. A rather inexpensive technology, NAND is manufactured in a way that gives it a relatively limited lifespan. Fortunately, NAND-based chips and cards are often designed to be interchangeable and replaced – both easily and affordably – by the consumer.

Although it’s a common technology, the average consumer doesn’t associate NAND memory with the automotive sector. However, given the rise of next-gen GPS systems, automated driving platforms and similar innovations, NAND memory is quickly becoming a standard feature in many new cars.

The Changing Face of Chip Manufacturers

NAND technology has become so popular that Samsung, who holds nearly 40% of the market share for NAND flash memory, recently overtook Intel as the leading chip producer in the world. This was no easy feat; Intel had held the title for the past 25 years.

But the market isn’t all about the major players. Micronix recently unveiled the AEC-Q100 Grade 2/3 compliant NAND memory chip. Meant specifically for use in automotive manufacturing, the device features an improved lifecycle as well as increased reliability and efficiency. In fact, Micronix’s new chip is rated to maintain data for a period of 10 years or 100,000 programming cycles – far in excess of the JEDEC standards of today.

A press release issued by Macronix stated, in part: ''“Macronix's newly launched NAND Flash adopts its own patented 36nm semiconductor manufacturing technology that overcomes the short life cycle deficiency of NAND flash, which typically occurs with shrinking semiconductor technology nodes, or technology with multiple bits stored in each cell. Testing results indicate that the more bits stored within a single memory cell, the lower the number of P/E Cycles (program/erase cycles), in addition to decreasing the product's reliability.”''

Perfect for Automotive Manufacturing

Available in capacities ranging from 1 Gb to 8 Gb, Macronix’s NAND flash memory is the perfect storage device for next-gen automobiles. Not only does it operate at much cooler temperatures than comparable devices, which makes it perfect for use in fan-less systems, but the voltage has been specifically engineered for automotive use.

3D NAND, which uses a layering approach to bolster the overall density, is also seeing increased interest from automotive manufacturers. The technique is simpler than many comparable options but still uses many of the same materials. Experts are forecasting 3D NAND chips that are more accessible, cheaper and more reliable in the near future.

SanDisk and Toshiba unveiled the world’s first 48-layer 3D NAND chip back in 2015, but they’re recent iteration is more powerful than ever before. Built using Bit-Cost Scalable (BiTS) technology, the newest release has the potential to achieve 40% more capacity than the original version.

The Competition is Heating Up

Specializing in the different forms of non-volatile memory, Macronix has managed to eke out a living amongst the bigger names like Intel, Samsung, SanDisk and Toshiba. To find out more information about Macronix, including details on any of their new products or technologies, please visit their official website at www.macronix.com.

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