Following Samsung and Toshiba, Micron's first 3D NAND chips are coming this year and pomise to offer a big jump in capacity and speeds in products such as SSDs. Although Micron is behind rivals Samsung and Toshiba, which moved to the 3D NAND flash structure many years ago, Micron 's implementation is different and relies on floating-gate cells to improve the reliability and capacity of drives. Micron's rivals use charge-trap technology, which might have the advantage of providing a longer battery life.
Micron says that its 3D NAND will offer 3X the capacity of existing planar NAND technologies while providing better performance and reliability. Its 3D NAND stacks 32 cell layers vertically to achieve 256Gb multilevel cell die that can enable gum stick-sized SSDs with more than 2TB of storage.
The company will offer 32GB (256Gb) MLC and 48GB (384Gb) TLC NAND chips. The MLC 3D NAND will enable up to a 2TB gum sticksized and the a 3.5TB gum stick-sized SSD with TLC 3D NAND. 2.5-inch SSDs will hit the 8TB capacity using MLC 3D NAND and the 10TB with TLC 3D NAND. As a note, Micron makes the flash in Intel's SSDs.
Micron did not provide specific performacne figures for its 3D NAND. The company said that it iwll offer "significantly higher" read/ write bandwidth and I/O speeds, as well as improved random read performance.
Power consumption will be also reduced in standby mode thanks to 3D NAND’s new sleep mode features that cut power to inactive NAND die (even when other die in the same package are active).
Earlier this month, during the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), Micron presented a 768 Gbit 3D NAND device featured control circuits under the flash array to deliver a density of 4.29 Gbits/mm2 compared to 2.6 Gb/mm2 for the most dense 256Gbit 3D NAND chip Samsung ships today.