July 26th, 2016 by Adam Armstrong
WD Announces World’s First 64-Layer 3D NAND
Today Western Digital Corp. (WDC) announced that it has successfully developed BiCS3, the latest generation of its 3D NAND technology, now with 64 layers of vertical storage capacity. WDC states that pilot production has commenced in Yokkaichi, Japan joint venture facilities. Initial output is expected by the end of this year with meaningful commercial volumes of BiCS3 in the first half of calendar 2017.
The new 64-layer NAND shows quite an advancement for WDC. Other vendors, such as Samsung, are currently using 48-layer NAND. The new BiCS3 and its 3-bits-per-cell technology is the result of a technology and manufacturing partnership with Toshiba as well as the acquisition of SanDisk late last year. WD also states that BiCS3 will feature advances in high aspect ratio semiconductor processing to deliver higher capacity, superior performance and reliability at an attractive cost.
Initial deployment of BiCS3 will be in 256 gigabit capacity, though WD will eventually have the 64-layer NAND in a range of capacities up to half a terabit on a single chip.
WD will begin OEM sampling of BiCS3 this quarter with volume shipments for the retail market expected in the fourth quarter of 2016. BiCS2 will continue to ship to retail and OEM customers.