Intel and Micron today announced the availability of their jointly developed 3D NAND technology. 3D NAND is the world’s highest density flash memory and allows 2.5-inch SSDs with greater than 10TB storage.
The new innovative 3D NAND technology brings a major improvement in memory density while lowering the cost of NAND flash at the same time. In order to achieve greater density, the technology stacks data storage cell layers vertically, allowing up to three times higher capacities than current NAND technologies. Thanks to this design, the 3D NAND storage devices can pack greater storage in a smaller physical size. The technology also boasts of lower power consumption and improved performance.
As the current Planar NAND flash memory technology has almost reached its scaling limits, the new 3D NAND technology will help manufacturers to continue providing newer storage devices with better performance and cost savings.
Thanks to the greater density, 3D NAND can fit in three-fourths of a terabyte in a single fingertip-sized package. The 3D NAND design brings improved latency as well as increased endurance compared to previous generations.
Intel and Micron have begun sampling a 256Gb MLC 3D NAND design with select partners today and plans to sample the 384Gb TLC design later this spring. These two devices are expected to go into production by Q4 this year, which means we can expect to see the first storage devices using 3D NAND technology to start showing up by the first half of next year.