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Samsung confirms mass production of TLC 3D V-NAND flash memory

Samsung Electronics on Thursday confirmed that it had begun mass production of triple-layer cell (TLC, or 3-bit-per-cell, 3bpc) three-dimensional vertical NAND (3D V-NAND) flash memory. The company will use the memory for its upcoming solid-state drives that promise to offer decent performance, reliability as well as affordability.

Samsung’s first TLC 3D V-NAND flash memory chips have 128Gb capacity and utilize 32 stacked cell layers per memory device. It is unclear which process technology is used to make 3bpc 3D V-NAND memory (it is expected that Samsung continues to use 42nm fabrication process for all 3D V-NAND in general), but the manufacturer claims that compared to its 10nm-class 3-bit planar NAND flash, the new 3-bit V-NAND has more than doubled wafer productivity (which generally means two times lower cost).

Samsung is the first NAND flash maker in the world to introduce TLC 3D V-NAND memory to the market. Both TLC and V-NAND technologies are designed to make flash memory more affordable. Since TLC memory is not as endurable as traditional MLC [multi-level cell, 2-bit-per-cell, 2bpc], many manufacturers continue to be cautious about the type. Samsung is ahead of many since it wedded TLC with V-NAND and is expected to introduce SSDs featuring the new memory chips in the coming months or even weeks.

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The manufacturer has already showcased the world’s first SSD based on TLC 3D V-NAND memory, the Samsung SSD 850 Evo.

“With the addition of a whole new line of high density SSDs that is both performance- and value-driven, we believe the 3-bit V-NAND will accelerate the transition of data storage devices from hard disk drives to SSDs,” said Jaesoo Han, Senior Vice President, Memory Sales & Marketing, Samsung Electronics. “The wider variety of SSDs will increase our product competitiveness as we further expand our rapidly growing SSD business.”

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KitGuru Says: Samsung continues to be ahead of its rivals when it comes to evolution of NAND flash memory. If TLC 3D V-NAND proves to be inexpensive, rapid, reliable and durable at the same time, then Samsung will be able to offer quality SSDs that will be priced well below those from its rivals.

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