In a nutshell: Micron’s new 232-layer NAND has the highest TLC density in the industry at 14.6 Gb/mm2. It features improved storage capacity, up to 1Tb per die and 2TB per package. The company is also advertising over 75 percent higher read bandwidth and twice the write bandwidth of its past-gen 176-layer flash.
Micron announced that it has started shipping its 232-layer NAND to clients in component form and through its Crucial SSD consumer product line, regaining industry leadership when it comes to layer count.
The company’s sixth generation 3D NAND uses two 116-layer decks in a string-stacked design. It has a density of 14.6 Gbit/mm2, over 40 percent higher than its previous 176-layer flash. Micron also claims its areal density is 35 to 100 percent greater than competing TLC products.
This increased density allowed the company to shrink its chip packaging by 28 percent compared to last-gen, down to 11.5mm x 13.5mm. Micron’s new TLC flash has a die capacity of 1Tb, meaning it can now produce 2TB packages when stacking 16 dies together.
The new 232-layer NAND also features performance improvements as it increases the number of planes per die from four to six, improving parallelism. ONFi 5.0 increases transfer rates by 50 percent to 2,400 MT/s while introducing a new NV-LPDDR4 interface that delivers per-bit energy transfer savings of over 30 percent. Overall, Micron is touting over 75 percent higher read bandwidth, with write bandwidth doubling compared to previous-gen NAND.
Micron’s 232-layer NAND is currently in volume production in its Singapore fab. The first SSDs equipped with it will probably come to market in a few months.