Shown above is a 238-layer NAND flash product, which SK hynix has developed for the first time in the industry. Photo courtesy of SK hynix

Korean company comes up with industry’s highest NAND product

SK hynix is the world’s second-largest DRAM maker, but it has been lagged in the NAND flash business, ranking at No. 4 as of the end of last year.

However, things might change in favor of the company, which has developed the industry’s highest 238-layer four-dimensional (4D) NAND flash product.

SK hynix announced on Aug. 3 that it had shipped samples of the 238-layer product to customers with an aim of starting its mass production early next year.

The corporation developed the 96-layer NAND product in 2018 and has attempted to increase the number of layers over the past several years.

“The latest achievement follows the development of the 176-layer NAND product in December 2020,” an SK hynix official said.

“It is notable that the latest 238-layer product is most layered and smallest in the area at the same time.”

The official added that the 238-layer product is the smallest NAND in size, which means its overall productivity has increased by 34 percent compared with the previous product.

“The data-transfer speed of the 238-layer product is 2.4Gb per second, a 50 percent increase from the previous generation,” the official noted.

“The volume of the energy consumed for data reading has decreased by 21 percent, an achievement that also meets the company’s ESG commitment.

Brief for Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance, ESG is the three central factors in measuring the sustainability of a corporation or business.

“The competition is expected to be very stiff in the NAND flash market as SK hynix is improving its technology,” Prof. Han Tae-hee at Sungkyunkwan University said.

“Samsung Electronics appears to pay attention to SK hynix’s technological edge. The former also works very hard to remain ahead of the pack.”

According to market tracker TrendForce, SK hynix ranked No. 4 in the global NAND flash business with a market share of 14.1 percent as of the fourth quarter of last year.

Samsung Electronics was the business bellwether with a market share of 33.1 percent, followed by Kioxia with 19.2 percent and WDC with 14.2 percent.

The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at or 82-2-6956-6698.