Wednesday, October 9th 2019

Micron Tapes Out 128-layer 3D NAND Flash Memory

Micron Technology has taped out its 4th generation 3D NAND flash memory with 128 layers. This paves the way for mass production and product implementations in 2020. The 4th gen 3D NAND by Micron continues to use a CMOS-under-array design, but with Replacement Gate (RG) Technology instead of Floating Gate, which Micron and the erstwhile IMFlash Technology had been using for years. Micron is currently mass-producing 96-layer 3D NAND flash, and TLC remains the prominent data-storage physical layer despite the advent of QLC (4 bits per cell).

Micron comments that this 4th gen 128-layer 3D NAND will be a stopgap restricted to a select few applications, and may not see the kind of adoption as its current 96-layer chips. The company appears to be more focused on its evolution, possibly the 5th generation 3D NAND, which are expected to bring tangible cost-per-bit gains for the company, as it transitions to a newer silicon fabrication node, and implements even newer technologies besides RG. "We achieved our first yielding dies using replacement gate or "RG" for short. This milestone further reduces the risk for our RG transition. As a reminder, our first RG node will be 128 layers and will be used for a select set of products. We don't expect RG to deliver meaningful cost reductions until FY2021 when our second-generation RG node is broadly deployed. Consequently, we are expecting minimal cost reductions in NAND in FY2020. Our RG production deployment approach will optimize the ROI of our NAND capital investments," said Sanjay Mehrotra, CEO and president of Micron.
Source: AnandTech
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6 Comments on Micron Tapes Out 128-layer 3D NAND Flash Memory

#1
lynx29
look at that sweet sweet wafer... nom nom don't you just want to snuggle with it and bed, polish it, and give it its own pillow?

maybe I need to look into new hobbies...
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#2
kapone32
If nothing else these new milestones are good for the consumer (not that we are going to see 8TB NVME drives for the price of HDDs) but we may be able to get 2TB NVME drives for less than $200 soon and that would be good indeed.
Posted on Reply
#3
Tomorrow
kapone32, post: 4130022, member: 181865"
If nothing else these new milestones are good for the consumer (not that we are going to see 8TB NVME drives for the price of HDDs) but we may be able to get 2TB NVME drives for less than $200 soon and that would be good indeed.
We already have 2TB below 200 (660p). What we need is first 4TB under 350 and then 8TB under 700.
But that's still far cry from HDD prices. I can get a 14TB top enterprise HDD for 450 for cold storage. HDD's are not going anywhere.
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#4
kapone32
Tomorrow, post: 4130144, member: 136792"
We already have 2TB below 200 (660p). What we need is first 4TB under 350 and then 8TB under 700.
But that's still far cry from HDD prices. I can get a 14TB top enterprise HDD for 450 for cold storage. HDD's are not going anywhere.
Sorry I should have said in Canada. That 2TB 660P is the cheapest 2TB NVME drive you can buy. If it was using the 128 layer it would probably be in the $150 range. I know Intel was also talking about 128 layer so we may see a 4TB for around $300 US. I know that HDDs still have their use cases (I have a 5TB) and $450 for 14TB is actually not bad for a dependable (Enterprise) drive. It will be interesting to see if we continue to get new PCI_3.0 drives well actually thinking about it only X570 support PCI_E 4.0.
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#5
Tomorrow
kapone32, post: 4130173, member: 181865"
Sorry I should have said in Canada. That 2TB 660P is the cheapest 2TB NVME drive you can buy. If it was using the 128 layer it would probably be in the $150 range. I know Intel was also talking about 128 layer so we may see a 4TB for around $300 US. I know that HDDs still have their use cases (I have a 5TB) and $450 for 14TB is actually not bad for a dependable (Enterprise) drive. It will be interesting to see if we continue to get new PCI_3.0 drives well actually thinking about it only X570 support PCI_E 4.0.
I see. Well atleast you're not in Australia. They have it even worse when it comes to component prices.
I think PCI-E 3.0 drives will be relagated to mainstream and value segment and high end drives will move to PCI-E 4.0
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#6
kapone32
Tomorrow, post: 4130180, member: 136792"
I see. Well atleast you're not in Australia. They have it even worse when it comes to component prices.
I think PCI-E 3.0 drives will be relagated to mainstream and value segment and high end drives will move to PCI-E 4.0
What really bugs me about that is that we share a border but always seem to get "hosed". I am going to be going to the States on the 18th and there is only a Micro Center in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately it is 6 hrs away from where I am staying.
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