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Micron ships 232-layer NAND

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Micron Technology has begun volume production of the world’s first 232-layer NAND, delivering improved levels of performance for storage solutions.

It features the industry’s highest areal density and delivers higher capacity and improved energy efficiency over previous generations of Micron NAND, to enable best-in-class support of the most 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 ground-breaking 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.”

As more data is generated so customers have to expand their storage capacity and performance while reducing energy consumption and meeting more stringent environmental sustainability requirements. This 232-layer NAND technology is intended to support the high-performance storage required in advanced solutions and real-time services.

The technology node enables the introduction of the industry’s fastest NAND I/O speed ‒ 2.4 gigabytes per second (GB/s) ‒ to meet the low-latency and high-throughput needs of data-centric workloads such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, unstructured databases and real-time analytics, and cloud computing.

That speed represents a 50% faster data transfer than the fastest interface enabled on Micron’s 176-layer node.

Micron 232-layer NAND also delivers up to 100% higher write bandwidth and more than 75% 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.

In addition, 232-layer NAND introduces what is said to be the world’s first six-plane TLC production NAND. It has the most planes per die of any TLC flash 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. This structure ensures fewer collisions between write and read commands and drives system-level quality-of-service improvements.

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% compared to prior I/O interfaces. As a result, 232-layer NAND solutions offer support for mobile applications and deployments in the data centre and at the intelligent edge that must balance improved performance with low power consumption. The interface is also backward compatible to support legacy controllers and systems.

The compact form factor of 232-layer NAND offers customers flexibility in their designs while enabling the highest TLC density per square millimetre ever produced (at 14.6 Gb/mm2). The areal density is between 35% and 100% greater than existing TLC products being shipped today.

Shipping in a new 11.5mm x 13.5mm package, 232-layer NAND features a 28% smaller package size than previous Micron generations. More density in a smaller footprint minimises board space enabling a diverse set of deployments.

“Micron has sustained technology leadership with successive first-to-market advancements in NAND layer count that enable benefits like longer battery life and more compact storage for mobile devices, better performance in cloud computing, and faster training of AI models,” said Sumit Sadana, chief business officer at Micron. “Our 232-layer NAND is the new foundation and standard for end-to-end storage innovation underpinning digital transformation across industries.”

Micron’s 232-layer NAND is shipping to customers in component form and through its Crucial SSD consumer product line.