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Micron Shipping 232-Layer NAND Flash

In May, Micron announced that it had developed a 232-layer three level cell (TLC) NAND flash chip. The company just announced that it was shipping these chips. Micron said that, “It features the industry’s highest areal density and delivers higher capacity and improved energy efficiency over previous generations of Micron NAND.” The chip density is 14.6Gb/mm2.

Higher capacity NAND usually comes with some reduction in the price per capacity, so Micron’s 232-layer NAND should also provide capacity cost advantages for the company’s customers. As of today, Micron is offering the leading number of layers in a shipping NAND flash chip.

The product is aimed at all types of applications but it is available first in Crucial SSDs and for some NAND chip customers. The chip’s data rate is 2.5GB/s, 50% faster than Micron’s prior generation 176-layer NAND product. Micron 232-layer NAND also delivers up to 100% higher write bandwidth and more than 75% higher read bandwidth per die than the prior generation.

The Micron 232-layer NAND introduces the world’s first six-plane TLC production NAND and features independent read capability in each plane. Micron says, “This structure ensures fewer collisions between write and read commands and drives system-level quality-of-service improvements.” Shipping in a new 11.5mm x 13.5mm package, the 232-layer NAND features a 28% smaller package size than previous Micron generations. The figure below summarizes many of the features for the new 232-layer NAND chips.

Micron is shipping 232-layer TLC NAND flash in some Crucial SSDs and to some customers. The chip has the highest density of any NAND chip on the market and offers performance of 2.5Gb/s in a new smaller form factor die. The chip is targeted at all NAND flash applications.