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WD showcases first 2Tb 3D QLC NAND flash memory modules

Western Digital unveiled the world's first 2Tb 3D QLC NAND Flash at a recent investor presentation. These cutting-edge NAND flash memory modules are primarily aimed at the AI segment, but they could also allow manufacturers to create larger storage drives for the mainstream market.

Still a prototype, these new NAND chips have the largest density in the market and potentially offer faster performance than existing technologies. WD's 2Tb 3D QLC NAND utilises the 218-layer BiCS8 node, resulting from a collaboration with Kioxia, forming the core of the new NAND memory chip's capabilities. According to Western Digital, the 2Tb 3D QLC NAND chip enables manufacturers to deliver a 4TB storage capacity on a single 16-die package. In contrast, a 1TB configuration can be achieved with four flash memory chips.

According to the NAND manufacturer, the new chips are 12% denser, offer 30% more program bandwidth, and improve read latency by 21% compared to the previous generation. Western Digital also claims that its new NAND chip offers 50% greater memory density than the last generation, outperforming competitors by 15% to 19%. Additionally, the NAND chip delivers 50% faster I/O performance while using 13% less power.

The first storage devices using these chips are still some time away from release and will likely be aimed at server workloads. Hopefully, the mainstream market will also get some devices powered by WD's new 3D QLC NAND chips soon after.

KitGuru says: With these NAND chips, the standard storage capacity for SSDs can be easily increased beyond what we currently have, reducing the overall cost of these drives.

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