Samsung mass-produces 256Gb 3D vertical NAND chips

samsung nand
Credit: Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics has begun mass production of 256-gigabit 3D vertical NAND (V-NAND) flash memories, clearing the way for higher-capacity memory that doesn't take up more room.

The memory is built on 48 layers of three-bit multi-level-cell (MLC) arrays and offers 32 gigabytes of data storage on a single chip. It doubles the density of conventional 128Gb NAND flash chips and consumes at least 30% less power than the previous Samsung chip, the company said Tuesday.

Smaller than a fingertip, Samsung's third generation V-NAND flash memory follows the second-generation chip, which featured three bits per cell and 32 vertically stacked cell layers.

In contrast to planar NAND, Samsung's V-NAND incorporates a 3D Charge Trap Flash (CTF) structure of 48 stacked array layers, like a miniature skyscraper. The arrays are connected electrically through 1.8 billion holes punched through them. Each chip has more than 85.3 billion cells, each storing three bits of data.

Samsung said it plans to make the chips for enterprise and data storage users as well as to promote the adoption of terabyte-grade SSDs (solid state drives). In June, Samsung announced a 2TB SSD in a 2.5-inch form factor for laptops and desktops.

The 850 Pro and 850 EVO SSDs included 3D V-NAND technology and doubled the capacity of their predecessors, with 120GB, 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB models.

Tim Hornyak covers Japan and emerging technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Tim on Twitter at @robotopia.

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