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We present this letter on the combining effect of tunnel-oxide degradation and narrow width effect on the data retention characteristics of NAND flash memory cells. Due to severe boron segregation in shallow-trench isolation (STI) corner, the cell transistor suffers from intense VTH shift on STI corner in data retention mode. Independent of enhancing the tunnel-oxide quality, the data retention characteristics are improved by designing a cell transistor that isolates the region where Fowler-Nordheim stress mainly occurs in tunnel oxide away from STI corner. Experimental results show that VTH shift is reduced by 0.3 V or more in retention mode as the tunneling is separated from the isolation edge.