Micron’s 3D QLC NAND Flash Memory May Lead to Larger SSDs

Posted by at 10:49 am on February 13, 2018

Micron is planning to launch a line of solid state drives based on three-dimensional (3D) quadruple-level cell (QLC) flash memory, similar to what Toshiba announced last June. While initial products will take aim at the enterprise sector, and in particular datacenters that rely on 7,200 RPM hard drives, according to The Register, it’s only a matter of time before this trickles down in to the consumer space.

So we could be looking at larger capacity SSDs at more attractive price points. That’s because QLC flash memory offers a 33 percent higher bit density and lower per-bit cost compared to triple-level cell (TLC) flash memory that is commonly found in high-capacity SSDs currently.

As its name implies, QLC flash memory consists of 4 bits per cell, versus 3 bits per cell for TLC memory. Micron did not get into the technical challenges that come with bumping up the density, but one thing to note is that multi-bit flash memory chips store data by managing the number of electronics (the charge) in each individual cell. That being the case, a 4-bit-per-cell solution requires twice the accuracy of TLC memory. SLC NAND only tracks two voltage states, MLC (2-bits per cell) tracks four voltage states, TLC has eight voltage states, and now QLC has 16 voltage states.

Micron has not disclosed  the specifics of its own QLC memory, nor did the company say what capacity QLC SSDs are on tap. However, it did show off a wafer with 64GB 3D QLC NAND flash memory chips, which indicates that it has storage products ready to ship (or soon will). The first batch will have a SATA interface, though Micron said it is planning to release NVMe models, both for the enterprise and consumer markets.

Leave a Reply

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign up to receive breaking news
as well as receive other site updates

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Log in

Copyright © 2008 - 2020 · StreetCorner Media , LLC· All Rights Reserved ·