August 11th, 2015 by Lyle Smith
Samsung Announces Production of 256Gb 3D V-NAND Flash Memory
Samsung has announced they have started mass production of their 256Gb 3D V-NAND flash memory, which is based on 48 layers of 3-bit MLC arrays for use in SSDs. This comes soon after SanDisk’s similar announcement back on August 3rd of last week.
Previously, Samsung had first unveiled its 2nd generation V-NAND (32-layer 3-bit MLC V-NAND) chips back in August, 2014. Fast forwarding just a year later, the company has already doubled the density of traditional 128Gb NAND flash chips to 256Gb 3D V-NAND, which allows for 32 gigabytes (or 256 gigabits) of memory storage on one single die. In addition, the new chip doubles the capacity of the company’s existing SSD models, enabling the manufacturing of multi-terabyte SSDs.
Each cell of the V-NAND chip leverages the same 3D Charge Trap Flash (CTF) structure. The cell arrays are stacked vertically to create a 48-storied mass, which is electrically connected through roughly 1.8 billion channel holes penetrating the arrays due to unique etching technology. Samsung indicates that each chip contains over 85.3 billion cells in total with the ability to store 3 bits of data. This results in 256 billion bits of data (e.g. 256Gb) on a chip that is no larger than a dime.
In addition, a Samsung claims that their 48-layer 3-bit MLC 256Gb V-NAND flash chip offers over 30 percent reduction in power efficiency compared to a 32-layer, 3-bit MLC, 128Gb V-NAND chip that is storing the same amount of data. The company also adds that, the new chip also achieves roughly 40 percent more productivity over its 32-layer predecessor during production, making it significantly more cost effective.
Samsung plans to manufacturer its 3rd generation V-NAND through 2015. In addition to introducing SSDs with densities of 2TB and higher, the company also indicates it will increase its high-density SSD sales for the enterprise and data center storage markets using PCIe NVMe and SAS interfaces.