Micron Technology said it started shipping its NAND flash chip made up of 232 layers of memory cells that can support intense data use from consumer gadgets, cars and data centers.
A NAND flash chip is a storage chip that retains data even when a device is turned off, unlike a DRAM chip which loses data when the power is off.
The latest chip transfers data 50 percent faster than Micron’s previous generation NAND chips, said Alvaro Toledo, general manager of the data center storage division.
While logic chips have become faster with smaller transistor sizes, in the past decade storage chips have been increasing the number of layers after hitting challenges getting the improvements and cost savings needed just from shrinking the transistor size.
Toledo said 16 of these 232-layer NAND chips can be packaged together in a casing about a third of the size of a stamp and can hold 2 TeraBytes of data.
Mass production of the 232-layer NAND is expected to start in late 2022, he said.
Micron’s 232-layer NAND technology provides the high-performance storage necessary to support advanced solutions and real-time services required in data center and automotive applications, as well as responsive, immersive experiences on mobile devices, consumer electronics and PCs.
This technology node enables the introduction of the industry’s fastest NAND I/O speed ‒ 2.4 gigabytes per second (GB/s). That speed represents a 50 percent faster data transfer than the fastest interface enabled on Micron’s 176-layer node.
Micron 232-layer NAND delivers up to 100 percent higher write bandwidth and more than 75 percent higher read bandwidth per die than the prior generation. These per-die benefits translate to performance and energy efficiency gains in SSDs and embedded NAND solutions.
232-layer NAND introduces the world’s first six-plane TLC production NAND. It has the most planes per die of any TLC flash3 and features independent read capability in each plane. The combination of high I/O speed, read and write latency, and Micron’s six-plane architecture provides best-in-class data transfers in many configurations.
Micron’s 232-layer NAND is the first in production to enable NV-LPDDR4, a low-voltage interface that delivers per-bit transfer savings of more than 30 percent compared to prior I/O interfaces.
232-layer NAND solutions offer ideal support for mobile applications and deployments in the data center and at the intelligent edge that must balance improved performance with low power consumption.
The compact form factor of 232-layer NAND offers customers flexibility in their designs while enabling the highest TLC density per square millimeter ever produced (at 14.6 Gb/mm2). The areal density is between 35 percent and 100 percent greater than competing TLC products in the market today.
Shipping in a new 11.5mm x 13.5mm package, 232-layer NAND features a 28 percent smaller package size than previous Micron generations,2 making it the smallest high-density NAND available. More density in a smaller footprint minimizes board space for a diverse set of deployments.
Micron’s 232-layer NAND is now in volume production in the company’s Singapore fab. It is shipping to customers in component form and through its Crucial SSD consumer product line.