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Micron ships 176-layer TLC NAND flash

by on11 November 2020

Faster, cheaper SSD drives for everyone eventually 

Micron has announced it's shipping 176-layer TLC NAND flash memory to customers in a a move that portends larger, faster and even cheaper SSD drives.

The company said its 5th-gen 3D NAND memory should put its density about 40 percent higher than its nearest competitors, which are using 128-layer NAND.

Micron said read and write latencies are reduced by 35 percent compared to its 96-layer NAND, and by 25 percent compared to its 128-layer NAND.

Micron isn't the only NAND memory manufacturer that has 176 layers, but it is the first to start volume shipments. The Micron NAND is TLC, or three-bits per cell, and is said to have 33 percent faster transfer rates, as well as a 35 percent improvement in read and write latencies.

TLC NAND rather than QLC means that the new memory should offer better drive endurance, too.

The 176-layer design comes from stacking two 88-layer stacks together, which isn't a new thing for Micron.

The result is far better density for larger drives. Micron said the new 176-layer NAND is about as thick as one-fifth of a sheet of printer paper, and works out to be as thick its previous 64-layer NAND despite having more than twice as many layers.

In the end, this will lead to larger SSDs and potentially cheaper ones, at least eventually.

Last modified on 12 November 2020
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