Micron mass-produces the world’s first 232-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory

Micron announced that it has begun mass production of the world’s first 232-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory, which uses industry-leading innovation to bring unprecedented performance to storage solutions. Compared to previous Micron NAND flash chips, 232-layer NAND flash has the highest density in the industry, and provides greater capacity and higher energy efficiency, enabling best-in-class support for data-intensive use cases from client to cloud.

Micron’s 232-layer NAND is a watershed moment for storage innovation as first proof of the capability to scale 3D NAND to more than 200 layers in production,” said Scott DeBoer, executive vice president of technology and products at Micron. “This groundbreaking technology required extensive innovation, including advanced process capabilities to create high aspect ratio structures, novel materials advancements and leading-edge design enhancements that build on our market-leading 176-layer NAND technology.

This 232-layer NAND flash memory introduces the industry’s fastest I/O speed, reaching 2.4 GB/s, which is 50% higher than 176-layer NAND flash memory. At the same time, the write bandwidth is increased by 100% and the read bandwidth is increased by 75%. It is the world’s first mass-produced six-plane TLC NAND flash memory, which not only has more planes than other similar TLC NAND flash memories, but also has independent read capability for each plane. The combination of high I/O speed, low read and write latency, and six-plane architecture enables it to deliver best-in-class data transfer speeds.

In addition, Micron’s 232-layer NAND flash is the first to support NV-LPDDR4, a low-voltage interface that saves more than 30 percent energy per bit transfer compared to previous I/O interfaces. The compact form factor of 232-layer NAND flash provides more flexibility in product design, with a TLC density of 14.6 Gb/mm² per square millimeter, a 35% to 100% improvement over other similar products. Additionally, the 232-layer NAND flash is housed in a new 11.5 x 13.5 mm package that is 28% smaller than previous generations, making it the smallest high-density NAND flash on the market, minimizing board space.

Micron said that mass production of 232-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory has begun at its factory in Singapore. It is initially shipping to customers in component form and through its Crucial SSD consumer product line.