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What is inside a Flash memory
               device?
                           Etienne Nowak
                            ...
Flash memory device
• You all have several Flash memory devices at
  less than 1 meter from you.
• They are present in you...
Objective
• I hope this will help you to realize the work of
  people invested on these things
• One key challenge for exp...
Introduction
• Here is an example of 2008 state of the art
  16Gb NAND device. NAND product from
  different manufacturer ...
iPhone Main PCB
 This is a 16GB Flash memory cell




                                    5
Overview
• Now make a close up on the memory chip itself
• Lets explain how this 20*12mm hold 16Gbit of your data

       ...
The Silicon chip
• This is what is obtained from silicon wafers




                                                 7
   ...
Closer look Silicon Chip

          50um




   50um                        50um


                        50um




      ...
Closer look
        Memory array
•   200 um you can’t see it without a
    microscope



                                 ...
• There is 4 level of
  connection from the top              Memory Array Cut
  to the bottom: Metal 3,
  Metal 2, Metal 1...
Connection from the array to the
                      cell


                10um                   100nm                ...
The memory cell (1/4)
                                         The cell is at the
                                        ...
The memory cell (2/4)



  Substrate level

The small points are    Here is stored your data
single Silicon atom     with ...
The memory cell (3/4)




   Poly 2 level
                       1um
The small points are
single Silicon atom          Her...
Memory cell (4/4)
• The data is stored in the
  orange zone with electrons
• With 100 electrons it’s a 0
• Without electro...
Break
     • Now you know where your data are stored.
     • But how to access them?
     • Don’t forget that we have a 16...
Connection with
 external world

        Cut




                  17
Connection inside the chip
• Here is
  example of
  Metal 2 to
  Substrate                  1um
  connection
             ...
Row decoder (1/2)




                                            Memory Array
                                           ...
Row decoder (2/2)
• This are circuit allowing to select a row in the array
                               Previous slide

...
Sense Amplifiers
• This are circuits to know if it’s a 0 or 1 that is
  stored




           Metal 3 level            Met...
What means doubling size?
    • This means doubling density of the memory cell. Here is
      example with different Toshi...
That’s the end!
• Hoping you enjoy it and that you will pay
  more attention to your memory card the next
  time you use i...
Still interested?
• Look on the web about:
  – Flash memory
  – Semiconductor industry
  – Non volatile memory
  – IEEE
  ...
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Flash memory device inside

What is inside a Flash memory
device? This will help you imagine it. It is done for helping people catching a part of what is done in the semiconductor industry.

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Flash memory device inside

  1. 1. What is inside a Flash memory device? Etienne Nowak May 2010 with data freely available on the web from Semiconductor Insights Inc. All done without permission for non-commercial purpose in a curiosity and educational purpose only
  2. 2. Flash memory device • You all have several Flash memory devices at less than 1 meter from you. • They are present in you Flash memory (in USB, Memory card, SIM Card they are the main component. In Cell Phone, iPod devices, Set up Boxes, they are a key components • However who knows what is inside this black tiny chips? 2
  3. 3. Objective • I hope this will help you to realize the work of people invested on these things • One key challenge for explaining what I am doing is that it is not possible to show it! • Hope this will solve a bit this gap! • It’s not a course on flash memory devices. • There is no explanations it’s just for the eyes. 3
  4. 4. Introduction • Here is an example of 2008 state of the art 16Gb NAND device. NAND product from different manufacturer will looks roughly the same. • This will give us a 2GB devices but depending on the packaging if 8 pieces are stacked together this could give us a 16GB chip. 4
  5. 5. iPhone Main PCB This is a 16GB Flash memory cell 5
  6. 6. Overview • Now make a close up on the memory chip itself • Lets explain how this 20*12mm hold 16Gbit of your data Inside view Outside view 2 cm • Connection from the external to the silicon chip 6
  7. 7. The Silicon chip • This is what is obtained from silicon wafers 7 14mm
  8. 8. Closer look Silicon Chip 50um 50um 50um 50um 8 50um 14mm
  9. 9. Closer look Memory array • 200 um you can’t see it without a microscope 20um Zoom 50um 200um 9
  10. 10. • There is 4 level of connection from the top Memory Array Cut to the bottom: Metal 3, Metal 2, Metal 1, Poly 2 Metal 3 and then the substrate Metal 2 Metal 1 Poly 2 Substrate Cut and Zoom x10 Here we are at top level Metal 3 so the rectangle are at Metal 2 Metal 3 Metal 1 Poly 2 Substrate 10um Cut and Zoom x10 10
  11. 11. Connection from the array to the cell 10um 100nm 1um Metal 3 level Metal 2 level Metal 1 level First Metal 3 is seen then it is etched in order to see Metal2. Then Metal 2 is etched in order to see Metal 1. And so on for Poly 2 1um 1um and for the substrate Poly 2 level Substrate level 11
  12. 12. The memory cell (1/4) The cell is at the section of Poly 2 level and Substrate level 1um 1um Here is the memory cell Substrate level This plot is connection for Metal 1 These plots are connection for Metal 2 You can see the 1um 1um Substrate level 1um under the Poly2 Poly 2 level level 12 Poly 2 level
  13. 13. The memory cell (2/4) Substrate level The small points are Here is stored your data single Silicon atom with 100 electrons! 13
  14. 14. The memory cell (3/4) Poly 2 level 1um The small points are single Silicon atom Here is stored your data with 100 electrons! 14
  15. 15. Memory cell (4/4) • The data is stored in the orange zone with electrons • With 100 electrons it’s a 0 • Without electrons it’s a 1 15 Poly 2 level
  16. 16. Break • Now you know where your data are stored. • But how to access them? • Don’t forget that we have a 16Gbit cell this means you have 8 000 000 000 memory cell* with or without electrons in the chip. This is more than the number of humans on Earth. • Let’s see how you connect them and access them * In fact in the present chip, it’s a 2 bit per cell device so you have 4 level of electrons 16 and 8 000 000 000 cells creating 16 Gbit of data.
  17. 17. Connection with external world Cut 17
  18. 18. Connection inside the chip • Here is example of Metal 2 to Substrate 1um connection Substrate level 18
  19. 19. Row decoder (1/2) Memory Array Next slide Metal 3 level Metal 2 level Memory Array Memory Array Next slide Next slide 19 Poly level Metal 1 level
  20. 20. Row decoder (2/2) • This are circuit allowing to select a row in the array Previous slide Poly level Metal 2 level Previous slide Previous slide Poly level Metal 1 level 20
  21. 21. Sense Amplifiers • This are circuits to know if it’s a 0 or 1 that is stored Metal 3 level Metal 2 level Poly level Metal 1 level 21
  22. 22. What means doubling size? • This means doubling density of the memory cell. Here is example with different Toshiba cell generation. • In microelectronics the children are always smaller than the parents, roughly half the size*. 100 nm 43 nm generation 56 nm generation 70 nm generation 90 nm generation 22 * Look at “Moore Law” on the Internet and you will have plenty of information on this fact.
  23. 23. That’s the end! • Hoping you enjoy it and that you will pay more attention to your memory card the next time you use it! • You loved it and you don’t know what to do then consider electronic engineering and especially the microelectronic or semiconductor industry! 23
  24. 24. Still interested? • Look on the web about: – Flash memory – Semiconductor industry – Non volatile memory – IEEE – CMOS –… • You will find plenty of available material 24

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