Micron unveils the world’s most advanced 3D NAND flash memory

Micron 3D NAND flash memory

Boost storage capability across mobile, automotive, client and data center applications

Micron Technology announced that it has begun shipments of the world’s first 176-layer 3D NAND flash memory to boost the performance of storage applications starting from the servers and data centers which help the enterprises to grow in terms of storing data with all-flash storage.

These high-density storage devices consist of layers of data storage cells that help the productivity and storage capacity by three times as compared to the other NAND technologies. These layers provide the systems with over-the-top accuracy and reliability. Further, through new NAND technology; users are able to store large amounts of data in smaller spaces. However, this advanced technology is not only cost-efficient but also consumes less energy which plays a major role in offering high performance to data centers, servers, and other portable devices.

“Micron’s 176-layer NAND sets a new bar for the industry, with a layer count that is almost 40% higher than our nearest competitor’s,” said Scott DeBoer, executive vice president of technology and products at Micron. “Combined with Micron’s CMOS-under-array architecture, this technology sustains Micron’s industry cost leadership.”

Micron’s fifth generation of 3D NAND implements its second-generation replacement-gate (RG) architecture

Micron 176-layer NAND Technology

One of the most important factors of 3D NAND technology is the basic memory cell itself. Moreover, one of the most important factors of these storage chips is storage density gains to the CMOS-under-array stacking architecture, offered by Micron. This approach facilitates multi-layered chips which help in reducing the size and makes it easy to fit into different processors followed by making more space for the layers to be stacked in.

Micron’s New 3D NAND Flash Memory Key Features:

  • Large Capacities – 3D NAND technology features the storage three times more as compared to the old NAND technologies. The storage capacity for the existing NAND devices goes up to 48GB of NAND per die—enabling three-fourths of a terabyte to fit in a single fingertip-sized package.
  • Reduced Cost per GB – 3D NAND is designed to achieve better cost efficiencies as compared to older planar NAND.
  • Fast – 3D NAND technology facilitates High read/write bandwidth, I/O speeds, and random read performance.
  • Green – The new 3D NAND technology offers new sleep modes enabling low-power use by cutting power to inactive NAND die (even when other die in the same package are active), dropping power consumption significantly in standby mode.
  • Smart – Innovative new features improve latency and increase endurance over previous generations, and also make system integration easier.

What is 176-Layers NAND Technology? 

The NAND drives have evolved over time. These drives not only offer extended storage capacities but also offer efficiency and reliability. Micron after switching from the floating gate memory cell which facilitated 128 layer design to the charge trap cell, which features 176 layers of flash. Micron’s 176-layer flash is considered to be a success as compared to 128-layered flash which had a minimum presence in the market and did not allow the customers to switch or adapt to new technology.

176-Layers NAND Technology

However, 176 layers of flash have served as a successor to their 96L 3D NAND as well. 176L comes with a versatile design and is considered an important building block in laying the foundations for the latest technologies toolboxes suitable for different mediums such as autonomous systems, client and data center solid-state drives, and mobile or portable storage. Moreover, Micron’s 176L began manufacturing in Singapore in 2021, and is available to be shipped to the customers followed by Crucial SSDs product lines.

What is 232 Layer NAND Technolog?

The NAND flash drives are the non-volatile memory that consists of several kinds of storage devices including USBs, memory cards, and other portable devices to SSDs for different devices and servers. However, new 3D NAND technology features flash cells installed vertically in 32 layers with the storage capacity ranging from 256GB Multi-level cells (MLC) up to 384GB Triple-level cell (TLC) available in standard packages.

232-layer Micron 3D NAND flash memory

These new technologies also ensure that SSDs that come in small stick-sized have the storage capacity that goes up to 3.5GB whereas SSD in the form factor of 2.5-inch is available with the storage capacity of more than 10TB. The main attribute for the enhanced performance is enhanced by stacking the cells vertically in a way that every single cell has larger capacity and better capability. This also enhances the durability and reliability of 3D NAND drive.

The triple-layer cell is further capable of catering intensive workload and data storage as required in servers, data centers or workstations. Although the main focus for NAND 3D is QLC (4bits/cell) but, the exact count for cells has not been mentioned in penta-level cells either. However, one of the most notable features of 3D NAND technology is that by building several layers, the manufacturers have divided the processing in several steps while ensuring that all the other attributes remain synced with each other, for instance, it made 232 processing groups which usually takes longer time to be manufactured. But certain attributes such as manufacturing cost, endurance, chip density cost, efficiency are not only limited to the number of steps it took to manufacture the memory chip.

Availability of Micron’s New 3D NAND Flash Memory

The new 176-layer triple-level cell 3D NAND Flash Memory is in the production and now shipping to customers. The company will introduce additional new products based on this technology during calendar 2021.

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