How Lexar makes it memory chips – an inside view
By Jeff Salton
February 2, 2011
Much of the world these days relies heavily on memory – not the human kind, but the manufactured variety. Many of us have a plethora of memory cards and sticks kicking around in devices like cameras, smart phones, USB thumb drives, etc., but have you ever wondered what goes into the manufacture of a memory chip. This "behind the scenes" promotional video from major manufacturer Lexar provides an interesting insight to the process – it takes the company one month and more than 800 processes to make a memory chip and the clean room in which they are produced is 100 times cleaner than a hospital operating room. That means in order to get in you have to do a lot more than just wash your hands.
Memory chips are manufactured at Lexar's plant in Lehi, Utah. Created in bulk on wafers before being cut down to individual chips, the wafers are shipped to an Asian assembly plant.
Lexar's Global Marketing Director, Jeff Cable, says the most popular capacity is 4GB trending towards 8GB.
"Since flash drives do not have any moving parts (solid state), they are incredibly durable. We get weekly emails from customers who have had their cards and JumpDrives go through the washer and dryer and they still work fine," he says.
Cable says Lexar tests every unit that it ships, for capacity and speed (if speed rated)
And while most of Lexar’s memory chips are assembled by computer, the company’s CompactFlash (CF) cards are still assembled by hand.
Lexar says manufacturing never stops, 24/7, 52 weeks a year.
Check out the video below: